Home' Facility Perspectives : Vol 9 No 4 Contents This plan has been in the works for
around 10 years, says McTaggart, with
Opera House maintenance and facilities
staff members painstakingly evaluating the
building, brainstorming the features that
need to be implemented in the new system,
marking out spaces within the facility for
input into the software, and naming the
hierarchies of the building spaces.
In such a unique space, the team found
that there wasn't an existing solution that
would work with the requirements of the
'After initially assessing the market, it
quickly became clear that there was no single
BIM solution that could be applied to both
development and construction projects, as
well as the ongoing facilities management
of the Opera House. We identified a gap
in the industry and decided to tender for
a bespoke, user-friendly solution,' says
But it is not limited to use in the Sydney
Opera House -- given the amount of
work that has been put into developing
something that embraces the complexity of
the site, yet is simple to use, there's a good
chance that the resultant system will be of
use to other facilities.
'While we've developed the system to
meet our own unique needs, the leading-
edge solutions that we're implementing
could absolutely be applied to similar
facilities and the wider industry in the
future,' McTaggart says.
The system is now in the implementation
phase, and it's a work in progress. The first
phase is what McTaggart calls the 'nuts and
bolts' phase, in which the technology will
be used to assess maintenance and building
management needs. The second phase is the
'bells and whistles' stage, in which the BCMS
will be brought into play, allowing system
users to monitor heating and cooling, lighting
and access, and to control mechanical
equipment in real time.
When asked if any challenges are
expected to arise during the early
stages of the system, McTaggart is fairly
confident in the team. 'A key focus will
be interoperability between the existing
systems,' he says, 'although, we are
confident in achieving this given the
expertise of the team appointed and the
fact that they have worked together on
As for the projected outcomes of the
project, McTaggart says that it will benefit
many people who engage with the Opera
House, beginning with the facilities team.
'This new system will significantly improve
facilities management procedures thanks to
immediate and user-friendly graphical access
to all information required to manage the
building,' he says. 'The new interface will
improve reliability and quality of service, as
well as enabling quicker response times.'
McTaggart doesn't necessarily want
visitors to even know that anything has
changed. The aim is to keep patrons and
artists comfortable, and to expedite works
that keep the venue in optimal condition.
Upgraded accessibility will ensure that all
patrons can visit and enjoy the Opera House.
The aim of the system is to allow greater
accessibility to the building's management
interfaces; but this comes with a certain degree
of caution, as building information falling into
the wrong hands could be disastrous.
'The model will be managed in-house
with our own cloud server. Strict procedures
will be put in place around accessing and
changing the model, including IT firewalls and
rigorous access protocols,' says McTaggart.
When third parties require access to the
3D model, it can be compartmentalised so
that they can only see the part of the system
that is relevant to them and their work on
the building. In addition, the system will
have separate levels of access for different
employees; bookings staff, for example,
won't have access to building management
data, and vice versa.
Given that the Opera House is a World
Heritage building, and that it is now a
globally recognised green building icon,
there are obvious considerations that
inform the implementation of the new,
'The Opera House's status as a World
Heritage building is a huge consideration in
our approach to conservation, maintenance
and management. All of our plans are
developed recognising the heritage status.
This applies to everything -- cleaning
techniques, the types of materials used,
maintenance and repairs, with restoration
of original fittings always preferred to
replacement,' says McTaggart.
'Knowledge management is also important
in preserving the heritage of the building. We
see the BIM as a critical tool for recording,
accessing and passing on knowledge to
future generations responsible for the
management of the building.
'It's also important for high-profile
organisations to show leadership in areas
of social responsibility. Our 4 Star GBCA
rating was made possible through a range
of environmental and social initiatives,
including reduced energy consumption,
green cleaning techniques, increased use
of public transport, and social programs
such as our Reconciliation Action Plan and
For a building like the Sydney Opera
House, the importance of energy efficiency
cannot be understated, in terms of both
social and fiscal responsibility. If planned and
executed well, McTaggart says that the
financial savings delivered by energy-efficient
buildings can be monumental.
28 FACILITY PERSPECTIVES | VOLUME 9 NUMBER 4
Point cloud data captured by The Scottish
Ten two years ago will be linked to the
new Opera House BIM interface.
Image © The Scottish Ten
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