GBCA celebrates 45 years of national innovator and icon

20 Oct 2018

20 October 2018

Since its doors opened 45 years ago, the Sydney Opera House has been an innovator. Its design is iconic, a pervading symbol of Australia all over the world, and its appeal is universal.

The Green Building Council of Australia celebrates the 45th anniversary of this national monument by highlighting its sustainability achievements and its recent commitment to operate at net zero carbon emissions by 2030. 

“The Sydney Opera House is one of the newest signatories to the World Green Building Council’s (WGBC) Net Zero Carbon Commitment, the only World Heritage listed building in the world to join so far,” said GBCA Chief Executive Officer Romilly Madew.

“As one of Australia’s top tourist destinations and our busiest performing arts centre, more than 8.2 million people visit the Opera House every year.

“This new achievement highlights how the Opera House continues to lead by example, adding to its Green Star credentials and embedding environmental sustainability in all it does.”

In 2015, the Opera House was awarded a 4 Star Green Star – Performance rating, joining a handful of World Heritage-listed buildings to have achieved green certification globally, and is now aiming to achieve a 5-Star Green Star – Performance rating by 2019.

Sustainability was also enshrined from its conception, with architect Jørn Utzon integrating many features now recognised as pioneering sustainable design, such as a seawater cooling system that still powers the Opera House’s main heating and air-conditioning.

Ms Madew said the Opera House was a true innovator, proving it was possible to make older buildings sustainable.

“The Opera House shows even the most iconic, historic and challenging buildings can be high-performing, energy efficient and sustainable,” she said.

“We are excited to see this magnificent building continue to innovate with the times as well as being celebrated for its cultural significance and thought leadership.”