News

12 Nov 2014

Opera House Concert Hall lights the way on sustainability

Sydney – Monday 3 November 2014 – A major upgrade of the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall lighting system has dramatically reduced energy use and improved the venue experience for both performers and audiences.

The two-year installation incorporated the latest long-life, LED technology and includes a new control system for the stage, auditorium and performance lighting.

Benefits of the upgrade include:
75% reduction in electricity consumption, with estimated savings of about $70,000 a year;

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Greatly reduced need for staff to work in confined ceiling spaces to replace lights;

Increased capacity to create ambient and specific lighting effects, without the cost of hanging additional lights; and

Removal of about four tonnes of air-conditioning ducting.
These significant improvements have been achieved while adhering to the building’s strict architectural and performance heritage requirements.

Last week, the Opera House’s Concert Hall Lighting Project won the Heritage Buildings category for Excellence in Sustainability at the NSW Government’s Green Globe Awards.

NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for the Arts Troy Grant said: “This project shows how new technology can deliver benefits on many fronts – in this case, environmental, financial, artistic and operational. The fact that this has been achieved in a heritage-listed building is a testament to the commitment and innovation of the Opera House’s staff and partners.”

Sydney Opera House CEO Louise Herron AM said: “Our mission says everything we do should engage and inspire people. That should be just as true of our sustainability initiatives as of the performances we present. The Concert Hall lighting upgrade is an excellent example of how we can renew the Opera House to meet the needs and expectations of 21st-century artists, audiences and the broader community.”

Sydney Opera House Director of Theatre & Events David Claringbold said: “The improvements in terms of energy use, waste and staff safety are very substantial. For example, the old lamps lasted between 300 and 1,000 hours, and needed to be changed several times a year. The new lamps are guaranteed for 50,000 hours, so they’ll need to be changed only once every nine years. At the same time, we are delivering improved services to our performing arts partners and venue hirers.”

A key factor in the project’s success has been the multidisciplinary collaboration between Opera House theatre lighting and building teams, contractors, lighting suppliers and the two Opera House resident companies that most use the Concert Hall, the Australian Chamber Orchestra and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

The innovative technology developed for this project by theatre lighting and automation systems company State Automation and lighting specialist Lumascape has already received interest from international performing arts centres.  Installation was carried out by Ryan Wilks (crown and high-level lights) and Downer Australia (low-level lights).

To view a demonstration of the new Concert Hall lighting system and capabilities, visit: http://youtu.be/yw-0EqixGsQ

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