Construction update

Topping off The Arc 1024 512 Westmead

Topping off The Arc

The Arc reached a new high point in its construction in August as we celebrated the completion of the roof and walls of the new climbing centre.

Chippenham Borough Lands Charity were happy to celebrate this milestone by a ‘Topping Out Ceremony’ with the building’s contractor, Rigg Construction Ltd together with representatives from The Climbing Academy, The CMS Group, Elkins Architects and Giraffe Engineering.

The term ‘topping out’ refers to the installation of the final piece of structure or the completion of the roof on a building or other large construction. It signifies that the structure has reached its maximum height not that the project has reached completion.

Topping out (sometimes referred to as topping off) is a builders’ rite. With more modern buildings of steel, rather than placing a branch or tree on top, the ceremony would involve the final beam being signed by those involved in construction.

Whilst we didn’t scale the height to do the ceremony on the roof – we followed a 14th century tradition, topping an ancient tree branch to the roof – in our case the inside roof of the new cafe area and a branch from one of the oldest old trees in Mortimore’s Wood.

Advance notice – potential evening site work 3rd-5th August 2021 1024 512 Westmead

Advance notice – potential evening site work 3rd-5th August 2021

The construction team may need to work after 5pm on the Westmead Activity Centre site next week. This will be for a few evenings only from Tuesday 3rd August to Friday 5th August.

The activity will be taking place on the Pewsham Way side of the building site and it may include some lights. There won’t be any machines being used and so it shouldn’t be noisy. This extra work will help move us forward with the construction.

Thank you in advance for your patience.

Meet the Engineers behind Westmead Activity Centre 1024 512 Westmead

Meet the Engineers behind Westmead Activity Centre

We are continuing our series of short videos with some of the key members of the team behind the Westmead Climbing Centre.

Next up are our engineers. Meet Peter Gates, Ralph Pelly and Konstantin Prochorenko, the project team at Giraffe Engineering undertaking the structural design for the project.

Thanks Peter, Ralph and Konstantin for all your hard work so far. You can view our Meet the Architect video here.

Construction work climbing upwards! 1024 512 Westmead

Construction work climbing upwards!

It’s been an exciting couple of weeks at the Westmead Activity Centre site as the climbing centre has really started to take shape and rise from the ground. A big milestone moment was reached over a week ago as concrete was poured onto the elevated slab…

This past week has seen the steel frame sections being craned into position bringing a real glimpse of the shape and structure of the new climbing centre.


And finally the site also hosted one of its very first VIP visits. Elliott, aged 8, greatly enjoyed his special tour round the site with site manager, Dave, earlier this week.

There was a massive ramp onto the building and the crane was huge, it lifted things really high. I can’t wait to see it lift the big bits. The bolts are really big to hold it together. This is so exciting, it’s going to be great – I’m so pleased this is being built.

Flood compensation work commencing on Westmead Playing Field 1024 512 Westmead

Flood compensation work commencing on Westmead Playing Field

Some engineering work will be taking place across Westmead playing field shortly. This is part of the flood compensation strategy for the site. A full set of experts in their respective fields have designed drainage, civils, structure, SUDS and storm water management to ensure that the scheme has a net benefit to the flood plain.

The work is part of the new measures that are being put in place to preserve and improve the normal functions of the site. There will be some heavy machinery on site during the work to reduce and level areas of the playing field within the area highlighted below. During the work access to the field will be limited.

Rigg Construction Ltd will endeavour to minimise disruption during this period  and construction will be between 8am and 5pm weekdays with any work on Saturdays only taking place during the morning only. Should you have any questions or concerns regarding the construction site or work on the playing field, please contact Ben Mees, Contract Manager, Rigg Construction Ltd on telephone number 01225 705668.