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Opera House awarded for sustainability leadership

The Sydney Opera House has been awarded a 4 Star Green Star – Performance rating by the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA), putting the national icon among a select few World Heritage buildings that have achieved green certification globally.



BY Ashley Tucker

September 7th, 2015


From the installation of new energy-efficient technologies in key performance venues to the use of eco-friendly cleaning products and a robust Reconciliation Action Plan, a wide range of both environmental and social sustainability initiatives across three core areas have contributed to the Opera House’s 4 Star rating. These core areas include building management, environmental management and social sustainability.

When designing the Opera House more than 40 years ago, architect Jørn Utzon was inspired by nature and integrated many features now recognised as pioneering sustainable design. A highly innovative seawater cooling system – considered ahead of its time – powers the Opera House’s main heating and air-conditioning while an early interpretation of the ‘chilled ceiling’ design remains in the Drama Theatre today to help control the venue’s air temperature.

Other building management initiatives include the development of a range of eco-friendly cleaning methods including bicarbonate soda for cleaning concrete, olive oil for the bronze and ozone-treated water for disinfecting various areas, which maintains the heritage value of the building and also reduces its impact on the environment.


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