If you have ever worked with or in the Design-Build industry, you may have heard about an odd tradition that is often held during some construction projects – a Topping Out Ceremony! However, if you haven’t been in the Design-Build world, you likely have no idea what a Topping Out Ceremony is. It’s a celebratory tradition unique to structures that are built with steel. It’s held when the last steel beam of the project is placed atop the structure during its construction. It completes the framing of building and marks a big milestone in the project’s advancement.
The practice of Topping Out Ceremonies began back in ancient Scandinavian cultures by placing a tree on new building structures. In today’s age, a small (Christmas) tree is usually placed on the beam, along with a flag. For our topping out ceremonies, we often like to involve the members of the business, school, church, etc. by having them sign the beam before it is placed at the top of the structure!