With James Packer receiving the green light for his new $1.3 billion Crown casino in Sydney, the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) has highlighted the importance of a once-in-a-200-year opportunity to create a sustainable landmark.
“The Crown Sydney Hotel Resort could join the Opera House and Harbour Bridge as an iconic Sydney sight,” said GBCA chief executive Romilly Madew. “We must not waste this opportunity to create a landmark that can boost the local economy, create jobs and demonstrate environmental best practice,”
The Crown Sydney Hotel Resort will be at the heart of Barangaroo South, a $6 billion urban reinvigoration project and one of the largest expansions since the development of the Darling Harbour precinct.
Barangaroo aims to be one of the world’s most environmentally sustainable precincts, with the Barangaroo Delivery Authority (BDA) specifying that all buildings in the precinct must achieve Green Star ratings.
According to the BDA website, Barangaroo will also be the first CBD precinct in Australia to be climate positive, with sustainability measures to make the site carbon neutral, water positive and zero waste, and to enhance the well-being of the community.
The firm of Wilkinson Eyre Architects has been selected to design Crown Sydney’s proposed 235-metre skyscraper on the waterfront area and Madew has warned that without independent verification using a relevant rating tool, the building could be accused of greenwash.
“This will be the first high profile hotel to be built in Sydney for more than a decade. It’s absolutely essential that we get it right,” she said. “Getting it right means setting world-leading targets for sustainability and applying a robust method of measurement to ensure that the design, construction and operation of this building meet best practice benchmarks. The only holistic environmental rating tool designed for Australian conditions is Green Star.”
Madew added that any project wanting to be recognised as world class beyond its luxury offerings needs to match the country’s brand of best practice. She said a Green Star rating would also act as an internationally-recognised marketing tool to attract visitors and organisers both locally and from around the world, especially those looking for an environmentally responsible venue.
“This project, if undertaken with a commitment to sustainability, can reinforce Sydney’s international reputation as a world leader in innovative and sustainable development,” Madew said.
In addition to casino, retail and restaurant facilities, Crown Sydney will also house Sydney’s first six star hotel and is committed to sustainability in both the architecture and operational layout of the resort.
The hotel at Crown Sydney is expected to open in 2018 and the VIP gaming facilities are expected to open in November 2019, following the expiry of exclusivity rights currently enjoyed by Echo’s The Star casino.