Walters Group and Mohawk celebrate major construction milestone

Mohawk joined Walters Group to sign the last beam to be installed in the Joyce Centre for Partnership & Innovation. Beam signing is a tradition at many construciton sites throughout the world and helps mark a major milestone in a project's path-to-completion.  It can also mark a major highlight or significant structural element such as the highest point of a structure.

In an article posted on their website, Walters Group explains the tradition this way: “the significance of the topping off ceremony is a meaningful one and an ancient construction tradition that dates back to the Vikings from Scandinavia. What is particularly interesting about this tradition is that it isn’t necessarily associated with the beginning or the end of construction. Rather, the ceremony is associated with the raising of a building’s highest beam or a significant structural element – hence the name of the rite: the topping-off.”

A few days after the signing, the beam was delivered and prepped for installation. In keeping with the tradition, a tree was strapped to the beam. The tree signifies a goodwill gesture of bringing life into the building and provides a positive omen to everyone involved in the project. It’s also a way to give blessings to those that will live or work inside the building after the construction process is complete. In some cases, the tree can also signify that no fatalities occurred during the entire time the construction was underway. For companies like Walters, where safety is a top priority, this aspect of the ceremony is particularly important.

Topping off ceremonies are common in Canada, as well as in the United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, and the United States.

Mohawk’s project team, executive group and architects attended the signing at Walters on October 26th. The beam was hoisted into place on November 1st.

The beam will remain visible once the project is complete as it can be seen from the 4th floor outdoor patio. Mohawk will place a plaque near the beam to explain the tradition for future students and visitors to the building.

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