Opera House’s 6 Star Sustainability Rating


Honeywell has announced its contributions to help the UNESCO World Heritage-listed building achieve a 6 Star Green Star rating from the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA). Key to this achievement was retrofitting the Sydney Opera House with Honeywell’s technology to help support more sustainable operations and to reduce the building’s environmental impact.

The Sydney Opera House is one of the first UNESCO World Heritage-listed buildings to receive a 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.

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. 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.

“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, Sydney Opera House. “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.”

“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,” said Billal Hammoud, president and CEO of Honeywell Building Technologies. “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.”

Technologies enabling a well-deserved energy rating

The Sydney Opera House is a pioneer in leveraging new technology to further its sustainability initiatives, including piloting solutions like the Honeywell Buildings Sustainability Manager, a ready now software platform that provides better visibility of energy use and Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions – down to an asset or device level – without compromising on occupant comfort.

The 6 Star Green Star rating centres on innovation, and a long-lasting commitment to sustainability. Collaborating closely with the Sydney Opera House’s engineering team, Honeywell has tailored the system to the unique requirements of a performing arts building, while leveraging existing systems such as the building’s pioneering seawater cooling system. Building operations at the Sydney Opera House are anchored by the Honeywell Enterprise Buildings Integrator (EBI), a comprehensive solution that monitors and controls the building management system (BMS), as well as hardware and equipment throughout the building’s ecosystem.

Using the system as a single point of data analysis, the teams can more effectively monitor and control systems to support peak performance. For example, system captures information on ticket sales to enable efficient temperature scheduling in performance venues, switching heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment on and off, and calculating baseline energy consumption. In instances of high energy demand, the BMS alerts the building to respond by selectively shedding electricity loads. Additionally, the air circulation system automatically shuts down outside air intakes during bushfire smoke events to improve IAQ and occupant experience.

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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