Topping off Ceremony at Inergy

In building construction, topping out (sometimes incorrectly referred to as topping off) is a ceremony held when the last beam is placed at the top of a building. The term may also refer to the overall completion of the building’s structure. A topping out ceremony is usually held to commemorate the event.

The practice of “topping out” a new building can be traced to the ancient Scandinavian religious practice of placing a tree on the top of a new building to appease the tree-dwelling spirits of their ancestors that had been displaced.
While common in the United Kingdom, Germany, Czech Republic, and Poland, the origins of the ceremony are obscure. Its practice has long been an important component of timber frame building. This tradition migrated to America with European craftsmen. The ceremony has also become tradition in the United States for union tradesmen when a structure is completed.
State and national flags are often raised atop the structure. While the ceremony itself has no standard agenda, it usually includes the placing of an evergreen tree upon the structure to symbolize growth and bring luck. The last beam to be hoisted is painted white and is signed on the ground by all workers before it is hoisted into place by crane. The height of the ceremony takes place when the piece of steel is lifted into place and secured (although not completely).
Tradesmen on the job usually join in the celebration as well as the supervisors, representatives of the architecture and engineering firms, the owner or representatives of the owning organization, donors, and any VIPs that are invited.
Often, the final piece of steel has little or no structural significance to the structure. After the ceremony is over, the piece of steel will be completely secured. The topping out ceremony is similar to ship naming and launching ceremonies and probably of similar ceremonies like the practice of placing a newspaper or coins under the cornerstone of a building
Recently this ceremony took place at the new Inergy facility in the Huron Township LDFA district.

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