Measuring the height of the PETRONAS Twin towers can be complicated, depending on which measurements are taken. Although the floors within the towers are generally 4 meters from floor to floor, there are a number of floor levels of different heights, including the lower lobby, sky lobby and several maintenance areas. The height of the buildings, counting the 88 office floors, from the entrance level to the roof above the eighty-eighth floor is 379 meters.
Pinnacles are placed upon the tops of the towers, and these structures add 73 meters of height. The steel pinnacle sections are slightly shorter, and a thick anchoring base above the ceiling of the eighty-eighth floors adds height to the equation. There are no antennas protruding above the tops of the pinnacles. The distance from the floor of the entry level to the top of the pinnacles is 452 meters, which is usually given as the official height of the PETRONAS Towers.
The basement below the towers has four floors and is 34 meters deep. The height of the buildings from the floor of the basement to the roof above the eighty-eighth floor is 413 meters. The underground parking garage has five floors and is a total of 42 meters deep. The height of the building from the floor of the bottom parking level to the roof above the eighty-eighth floor is 421 meters. The height of the building from the floor of the bottom parking level to top of the pinnacles is 494 meters.
The foundation columns that extend into the soil below the buildings are from 40 to 115 meters in length. The total height of the structure, from the bottom of the deepest foundation column to the top of the pinnacle spires is 573 meters. The two towers, when added together have a total height of 904 meters. The foundation total of 121 meters, added to the heights of the two towers equals 1025 meters.
Several other buildings are technically taller than the PETRONAS Towers. The Sears Tower has 110 floors, but is only 442 meters tall. The Shanghai World Financial Center has 101 floors, and is 492 meters tall. The Taipei 101 Tower has 101 floors and is 509 meters tall. As of 2009 several other buildings are proposed or under construction that will be taller. The proposed Lotte World II in South Korea would be 512 meters tall with 107 floors. The Burj Dubai is under construction and is planned to be an astounding 818 meters tall with 162 floors.
Of course, measuring the height of the PETRONAS Towers is not really that important. While they were not originally intended to be the world’s tallest buildings, they did enjoy that distinction from 1198 until 2004. Today the PETRONAS Towers derive more stature from the position of pride that they hold with the Malaysian people and the aesthetic and technical respect that they enjoy around the world.