Sydney Opera House
Designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon and completed in 1973, the Sydney Opera House is not only one of the world’s most iconic structures, it’s also a building intimately associated with place. Think of Sydney, and the Opera House immediately comes to mind.
What is less well known about the strikingly original building, however, is that it has sustainability at its heart. The forward-thinking Utzon and engineer Ove Arup implemented an innovative seawater cooling system to make use of the plentiful resource on the Opera House’s doorstep.
Chillers take in cool seawater from the surrounding harbour rather than fresh water, saving 15 million litres of drinking water per year. The heat recovered from the chillers is also used for warmth in cooler weather.
More recently, a comprehensive Environmental Action Plan has been developed or the Opera House. As part of this strategy, the Sydney Opera House has committed to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. These provide a roadmap to address the world’s most pressing challenges – including climate change, inequality and education – by 2030.