Client: Sydney Opera House Trust


The Sydney Opera House is one of the most distinctive and famous 20th century buildings, and one of the most famous performing arts venues in the world. Situated on Bennelong Point in Sydney Harbour, with parkland to its south and close to the equally famous Sydney Harbour Bridge, the building and surroundings form an iconic Australian image.

In 2001, the NSW Government provided $69.3million for several projects to improve the facilities and environment for performing arts companies, patrons and visitors.These projects seek to redress some of the practical limitations affecting the day-to-day workings of Sydney Opera House while preserving its unique heritage.

Our role

Rider Levett Bucknall were originally engaged in the construction of the Opera House in 1959. The project was completed in three stages.

  • Stage 1 (1959 - 1963) consisted of building the upper podium
  • Stage 2 (1963 - 1967) saw the construction of the outer shells
  • Stage 3 (1967 - 1973) consisted of the interior design and construction

Since the original construction, Rider Levett Bucknall have been involved with the ongoing refurbishment of the Sydney Opera House.The works have comprised the refurbishment of various front-of-house and back-of-house areas.

Additionally, during 2005 to 2006 the ‘Facilities Management (FM) Exemplar Project: Sydney Opera House’ was initiated by the Australian Government’s FM Action Agenda, as part of a strategic framework for managing the built environment.This project was undertaken by the CRC for Construction Innovation along with industry partners and managed by Rider Levett

Bucknall. 2007 saw the publication of the final report, integrating the Digital Modelling, Services Procurement and Performance Benchmarking research streams, entitled ‘FM as a business enabler’.

John McCarthy, Chairman of FM Action Agenda said “the FM Exemplar Project has made a significant contribution to the body of FM industry knowledge and has demonstrated Rider Levett Bucknall’s leadership in the FM profession globally”.

Client benefits

The development of a Total Asset Management (TAM) Plan between 2005 and 2007 has allowed the Sydney Opera House Trustees to develop the asset performance criteria to deliver the agreed services for an iconic performing arts centre and can be summarised as follows:

  • Overcoming current limitations
  • Delivering on the promise of excellence
  • Creating simple and functional solutions
  • Creating flexibility to adapt for the future
  • Avoiding the risks of further decline

The successful implementation of the TAM Plan will ensure the continued provision of aninspiring and exciting experience for all the visitors, whether they be audiences or tourists, to the Sydney Opera House.


"Working with Rider Levett Bucknall we were able to produce an asset management strategy that reflected the requirements of Sydney Opera House as an icon, tourist destination and performing arts centre. Rider Levett

Bucknall's staff brought a passion to the project that matched our own and produced a document that has been invaluable in promoting asset management as an important business enabler".