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Building of the Bronx Bombers

2:45 PM  Jun 21st, 2010
by Michelle Tedford

At the Yankees’ 2009 home opener, one fan in the stands had the perfect view of all it takes to build a ballpark.

The high-rises of New York City pulled Mark Pulsfort ’74 back to the East Coast after his UD graduation. Something about their design and the way they can rise up from a relatively tiny footprint on a Manhattan street corner fascinated both the child who played with Tinker Toys and the adult who graduated with a civil engineering degree.

But the Yankees trump even the tallest skyscraper.

The vice president and deputy operations manager for the New York business unit of Turner Construction oversaw the three-year planning and construction of the new Yankee Stadium, which is now entertaining its second season of baseball fans. As general contractor, Pulsfort and his Turner crew turned to 3-D building information modeling to handle the complexity of a project with such a tight time line — so tight that foundational work had to begin before design plans were finalized. “This was the first job to extensively use the technology,” he said of BIM, which is now common on complex construction projects.

Such projectwide coordination allowed Turner to flag 10,000 potential clashes that could be solved before they could impact construction — saving time and money and allowing contractors to optimize material ordering and fabrication.

Pulsfort is using BIM on his current projects, including a new 34-acre police academy campus in Queens and the renovation — from infrastructure to concessions to luxury boxes — of Madison Square Garden.

Pulsfort loves a challenge, and the complexity of Yankee Stadium helped raise that project to the top of his favorites list. But for a lifelong Yankees fan, it meant something even more: “It’s exciting — knowing the history of the old stadium, what the Yankees represent, the records. Now there will be new players and history going forward, and I’m very proud to be a part of that.”

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