Energy Management and Lighting, Green Building, Heating and Cooling, Maintenance and Operations, Sustainability/Business Continuity

Sydney Opera House Earns Green Building Rating for ‘World Leadership’

The iconic Sydney Opera House has achieved a 6 Star Green Star rating from the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA).

Honeywell, a Sydney Opera House Global Goals partner since 2021, said it helped Australia’s most famous building attain the globally recognized sustainability rating through retrofits using the company’s technology.

The opera house is now one of the first UNESCO World Heritage-listed buildings to receive the 6 Star Green Star rating, which represents “World Leadership” in environmental and social sustainability operations. This achievement is the result of continually improving the building’s performance, reducing its carbon emissions, and maintaining its carbon-neutral certification.

“Sustainability is in the Sydney Opera House’s DNA. Architect Jørn Utzon incorporated sustainable design into the fabric of the building in the 1960s. Now, as we approach our 50th birthday later this year, we continue to look for ways to build on this legacy by embedding sustainable thinking into everything we do,” said Louise Herron AM, CEO of the Sydney Opera House.

As a globally recognized performing arts venue, the Sydney Opera House operates 24/7, requiring close collaboration between Honeywell and the opera house’s safety, projects, and service teams. Together, they work to identify and implement solutions tailored to the unique needs of the building. This includes:

  • Creating a technology system that monitors indoor air quality (IAQ) and relative humidity (rH).
  • Integrating more than 20 disparate subsystems in the building to help improve safety, energy, and water usage.
  • Implementing several innovations including electricity spot-price monitoring, extraction fan control in non-air conditioned (AC) areas, and monitoring of cold room doors that remain open for too long.
  • Automating outside air control through real-time air quality data from the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM).
  • Identifying potential energy-saving opportunities in the building, including the installation of more than 60 water meters and more than 800 electrical meters.

These strategies help enable automated responses and alerts to changing conditions, which supports operational efficiency and provides a safer and more comfortable environment for staff, audiences and visitors.

“The Sydney Opera House takes a thoughtful and deliberate approach to minimize its impact on the environment while providing a world-class experience for its occupants—all while carefully protecting its UNESCO World Heritage-listed status,” said Billal Hammoud, president and CEO of Honeywell Building Technologies. “This requires a careful balance and technologies, but most importantly, teamwork.

The GBCA Green Star Building rating tool is similar to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification system from the U.S. Green Buildings Council (USGBC).

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