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.