Transamerica Pyramid Center Recertified LEED Platinum

The Transamerica Pyramid Center has been recertified LEED Platinum, the highest certification in environmental sustainability awarded by The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The Transamerica Pyramid Center consists of The Transamerica Pyramid, built in 1969 and 505 Sansome Street, built in 1981.

“We are delighted that the iconic Transamerica Pyramid Center continues to make advancements and investments that allow us to remain a leader in environmental sustainability in San Francisco,” said Suman Gera, Managing Director at Aegon Asset Management.

The Transamerica Pyramid is prominently situated at the gateway to San Francisco’s Financial District and fills an entire city block.  At 853 feet high (260 meters), the Transamerica Pyramid remains one of the tallest buildings in San Francisco. The 48-floor high-rise building is constructed of concrete, glass and steel — and capped with a decorative aluminum 212-foot spire (64.6 meters) rising above the top floor and the “crown jewel” of the building, the beacon at the top.

The sustainability milestones achieved in this year’s recertification of the Transamerica Pyramid include:

1. Top energy efficiency performance- ENERGY STAR scores, as The Transamerica Pyramid is in the top 11% of the most efficient nationally according to the CBECS Survey.

2. 1286.7 Metric tons of carbon dioxide (mtCO2) greenhouse gas emissions are saved compared to similar buildings nationally.

3. An ASHRAE score of 188 was awarded to the Transamerica Pyramid for innovation in demonstrating effort beyond the scope of LEED to protect the health and wellbeing of occupants by testing the quality of potable water according to the standard.

505 Sansome Street is a Class A, 20-story high-rise building adjacent to the Transamerica Pyramid. It is one of the few open-air buildings in San Francisco.

The sustainability milestones achieved in this year’s recertification of 505 Sansome Street include:

1. Top energy efficiency performance- ENERGY STAR scores, as 505 Sansome Street is in the top 12% of the most efficient nationally according to the CBECS Survey.

2. The occupant comfort survey showed that 93.06% of the surveyed population was satisfied with the building’s comfort.

3. And there is a 78.7% reduction in conventional commutership due to alternative commuting transportation.

The successful recertifications were measured from January 1, 2015-February 28, 2019 for the Transamerica Pyramid and from July 1, 2014-April 10, 2019 for 505 Sansome Street.

A look inside the ‘secret’ crown jewel of San Francisco’s Transamerica Pyramid

By Douglas Zimmerman, SFGATE

On a recent helicopter ride above downtown San Francisco, photographer Ryan Fitzsimons discovered the top of the Transamerica Pyramid is made out of glass.

Fitzsimons clicked several images of the top of the tower and shared them on his Instagram page and with SFGATE. “I thought it would make a cool image and a good story, because I think most people are unaware,” he explained.

A 32-pane, cathedral-style glass top adorning the Transamerica Pyramid is commonly known as the building’s “crown jewel.” Inside the room is a 6,000-watt beacon “jewel” light. On special occasions, it is lit and viewable around the Bay Area. The crown jewel is the highest room on the 853-foot-tall Transamerica Pyramid, completed in 1972.

To get to the crown jewel is not an easy journey. After taking an elevator to the panoramic-view 48th floor (which is a boardroom that can be rented out by building tenants), you then have to ascend an additional 212-foot spire to get to the top of the building. First, you climb a tall staircase with steep steps inside the middle of the hollow metal structure. At the top of the stairs, there are two more steel ladders to climb to get to the crown jewel room.

MORE: Images capture the Transamerica Pyramid, SF’s most famous ‘photo bomber’

The 48th floor and crown jewel have never been open to the public. However, in 2008, CBS San Francisco was given access and was able to show the journey to the tip of the pyramid:

As for Fitzsimons, he was excited about discovering and sharing his photos of San Francisco’s crown jewel with everyone else.

Transamerica Pyramid in photos: Once controversial structure is now beloved

“I aim to capture a moment, but I also really hope to create images that are iconic, but from new angles,” he said. “It’s just such an iconic S.F. building that it makes for a great photo.”

Online Photo Editor Douglas Zimmerman oversees SFGATE’s Instagram and covers the Bay Area soccer scene on SFGATE’s Beautiful Blog. View his latest stories and send him news tips at

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February 1, 2016 (San Francisco, Calif.) The Transamerica Pyramid is taking the celebration of the Big Game coming to the Bay Area, airing on CBS February 7th, to the next level with special lighting of the Transamerica Pyramid celebratory colors from February 1 – February 7.

The lighting will debut at 7:00pm on Monday, February 1 and will be broadcast live on KPIX 5 in their program, Countdown to Gold during a one-hour special broadcast live from Super Bowl City, co-hosted by Ken Bastida and Jennifer Montana.

The custom lighting project, produced by Island Creative Management, a local light specialty company on Treasure Island, runs through a sophisticated computer program that allows it to shift colors on scheduled command. The spectacle will give homage to the City by the Bay, the Big Game, and to the landmark Transamerica Pyramid.

The Transamerica Pyramid will feature two-tone lighting in blue and gold running up the edges of the building and changing every five seconds, then leading up to the spire, which will be lit in gold, topped off with the crown jewel for the length of the hour-long program. The same lighting effects will run throughout Game week changing at 30-minute intervals.

Island Creative Management is providing 24 LED RGB fixtures with the capability of up to 125,000 lumen for up-lighting the corners of the Transamerica Pyramid, The spire will be lit internally using 18 LED RGB fixtures with the capability of up to a 400,000 lumens.

Transamerica Pyramid Lighting

“We wanted to do something special as the Big Game comes to one of the finest city’s in the nation, and how better to do it than by lighting an icon to the City,” said Mark Novack, Real Estate Portfolio Manager for Aegon USA Realty Advisors LLC, Investment Manager for Transamerica.

“KPIX 5 is thrilled about Transamerica Pyramid’s contribution to the excitement of Game week and the debut of this innovative addition on live television on Monday,” said Bruno Cohen, KPIX 5 President and General Manager.

The live broadcast can also be seen on streaming video at