Sydney Opera House Plant Room

 The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) has given the Sydney Opera House a 6 Green Star rating – the iconic building is one of the first UNESCO World Heritage-listed buildings to achieve this. 

Key to this achievement was retrofitting the Sydney Opera House to provide more sustainable operations and to reduce the building’s environmental impact.

In 2021, the Sydney Opera House welcomed Honeywell as its first Global Goals partner, supporting the world-famous performing arts centre’s commitment to sustainability, diversity and inclusion. 

As a globally recognised performing arts venue and World Heritage-listed icon, the Sydney Opera House operates 24/7 requiring close collaboration between Honeywell and the Sydney Opera House’s safety, projects, and service teams. 

The partnership is working 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.

Sydney Opera House CEO, Louise Herron, said, “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 in late 2023, we continue to look for ways to build on this legacy by embedding sustainable thinking into everything we do.

“Thanks to the long-term support from our Global Goals Partner Honeywell, the Opera House is working harder and smarter than ever before and I’m thrilled to see this recognised in such a significant way. It’s a testament to the power of meaningful partnerships in driving positive change.”

President and CEO of Honeywell Building Technologies, Billal Hammoud, said, “The Sydney Opera House takes a thoughtful and deliberate approach to minimise its impact on the environment while providing a world-class experience for its occupants – all while carefully protecting its UNESCO World Heritage-listed status.

“This requires a careful balance and technologies, but most importantly, teamwork. The Honeywell team who service and support the Sydney Opera House every day closely collaborate with its engineering and sustainability teams to make sure the building systems are performing efficiently and we work to find innovative solutions to meet well-defined goals,” Mr Hammond said.

Since the beginning of the partnership, the Sydney Opera House and Honeywell have collaborated on initiatives aligned with the Global Goals including an event to discuss how engineers are contributing to positive social and environmental change, launching a program to support First Nations tertiary graduates with their chosen profession, and working with the Sydney Opera House on its roadmap to become climate-positive by 2030.

Feature image: Sydney Opera house plant room. Provided by Honeywell.

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