CSULB’s Walter Pyramid was featured in a recent episode of the National Geographic series “Pricing the Priceless,” which investigates the cost and viability of reconstructing the world’s most iconic monuments in the present day. In this particular episode of the series, the construction costs and structural integrity of the Walter Pyramid were compared and contrasted with those of the Pyramid of Giza in Egypt. This engaging and highly entertaining documentary determined that it would cost approximately $116 million to build a pyramid the size of the Pyramid of Giza using the same materials that were used to build the Walter Pyramid. The question that still loomed, however, was how well such a pyramid would stand up to the harsh environment of the Egyptian desert.
With help from the College of Engineering’s Dr. Forouzan Golshani and Dr. Behnam Bahr, a variety of stress-testing experiments were conducted on a scale model of the Walter Pyramid to simulate the conditions of the Giza desert. By simulating sand storms and extreme temperature conditions, the team provided firsthand data on the impacts of erosion, corrosion and thermal variations on the durability of the Walter Pyramid in harsh conditions such as those in Giza.