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Last edited 19 Apr 2022
Breaking ground is a phrase often used to describe the start of a project. The expression originates from around the 1670s where it was used more literally to mean to dig or plough the ground to plant or seed. From the 1700's it began to be used more figuratively as an idiom to express the commencement of a plan.
In terms of construction the phrase can be used more formally to express the start of a construction project. In this context it may be accompanied by a celebration, where key stakeholders of a project might use a shovel to ceremoniously dig the soil on a construction site to mark the official start of their building project.
Breaking ground in a construction project may also have significance contractually as various building permissions such as planning permission would normally be in place. It marks the start on the construction phase of a project.
At the other end of a building project procurement process one might come across the term topping-out, which is sometimes also a ceremonial occasion that marks the completion of a construction project.
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