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Final Beam Put Into Place

The final steel beam for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers new headquarters building at the Federal Center South complex in Seattle was set on January 10 during a special “topping out” ceremony.

Northwest/Arctic Regional Administrator George Northcroft and representatives from Sellen Construction, ZGF Architects and the Corps of Engineers applauded the workers on the project for their dedication and commitment to getting this building from design to this milestone in only 21 months.

The tradition of “topping out” is a cherished custom of ironworkers whenever the skeleton of a bridge or building is completed. It is one of the construction industry’s oldest customs. "Topping out" is a signal that the uppermost steel member is going into place and that the structure has reached its height.

The Federal Center South Redevelopment is an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funded project transforming a 1940s warehouse site into a highly sustainable 21st century workplace for the Seattle District headquarters of the Corps of Engineers. The building is anticipated to be within the top one percent of U.S. buildings for energy performance, the region’s most energy efficient air conditioned building, and one of the first projects in the region to combine the use of geothermal heating and cooling systems with structural piles.

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