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The Transamerica Pyramid is a one-of-a-kind building. It has the shape of a four-sided pyramid with two wing-shaped pieces on the sides of the building, one for elevator shafts and the other for stairwells to the top. Outside of the building, it is covered in crushed quartz to give it that white color. The whole building consists of 48 floors and 3,678 windows. On the 48th floor, which is only limited to tenants and permitted guests, it gives a spectacular 360-degree view of San Francisco.

In 2009, the Pyramid installed a “Co-Generation plant,” which produces 70% of the building’s energy. They were awarded LEED Gold Status by the US Green Building Council for their green technology in energy conservation, water efficiency, carbon dioxide emissions reduction, and overall indoor environmental quality.

Ever since construction began, withstanding earthquakes has been a primary goal. The Pyramid is built sturdily with a 52-foot-deep steel and concrete foundation. The facade of the building has strong rods at four places on each floor. The first floor is interlaced with strong materials to support horizontal and vertical movements. The overall shape of the building, a pyramid, allows the base to be stronger than the top and more structurally stable than most buildings. All these structural measures allow the building to stay up during natural disasters.