The iconic venue has received a 4 Star Green rating for it’s eco-friendly operations and innovations.

Australia’s most iconic building is now one of the most eco-friendly, as it was announced today that the Sydney Opera House has been awarded a 4 Green Star Performance rating by the Green Building Council of Australia.

The world-famous venue on Sydney’s harbour joins a handful of World Heritage Buildings to have been recognised with a green certification their ecological efficiency. Green Building Council of Australia chief executive Romilly Madew described the achievement as “amazing,” at an announcement ceremony at the Sydney Opera House’s Concert Hall, which was bathed in green light to mark the occasion. “If you think about this project, most buildings in Australia that have achieved a Green Star rating – we’ve had 970 in total – 860 of those have been new buildings,” Madew remarked. “This [The Sydney Opera House] would have to be the most challenging of all those building to have achieved a rating. They have laid down the gauntlet to the whole industry in Australia to say, ‘We can achieve a Green Star rating on performance, which mean you can for your buildings too.’”

Among the Opera House’s green innovations are a seawater cooling system, energy saving lighting control system using more efficient LED lights that have reduced the electiricty consumption of the venue by as much as 75% and the introduction of eco-friendly cleaning methods. Sydney Opera House buildings director Greg McTaggart shared his pride at the green certification. “The Opera House is an icon of Sydney and a symbol of modern Australia so it’s vital that it sets the standard,” he said. “The endorsement of the Opera House by the GBCA sends a clear message that green buildings don’t have to be new. Even the most recognisable and historic landmarks can earn a place among the most celebrated sustainable buildings in the world.”

Madew said that there is a belief that upgrading existing buildings is prohibitively expensive, but the success of the Opera House’s green efforts showed that improving building efficiency was entirely possible for existing structures. “If you can green the Opera House, you can green anything,” she said.