The Art of Assessment

March 27, 2014

Robert Dodd American Blower Sketch

“Recently I was working at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.  My colleagues and I found ourselves in a mechanical room that had this very old American Blower chiller unit.  This TONRAC packaged centrifugal was a liquid chiller, the name being derived by reversing the surname of Nicolas Carnot, the father of Thermodynamics.  In the days when the industrial era in the USA was just gaining momentum, the American Blower company was among the first to manufacture ventilating fans, blowers for pneumatic conveying systems in sawmills, vertical steam engines, and hot blast heating equipment.  This particular unit, installed circa 1958 has seen better days and is no longer functional.  My mechanical engineer partner is reviewing other more functional pieces of equipment.”

Robert Dodd, Facilities Consultant (Architectural),
VFA, Inc.

 Robert Dodd, Urban Sketcher

About the Artist

Robert Dodd, originally from New Zealand, was a bone and stone carver before discovering urban sketching in 2012. He loves using pen, ink and watercolor on location, in Bellingham, WA, where he lives and in other cities when he travels. Robert has sketched in the white villages of Andalusia, Spain; Suzhou, China; Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and in cities throughout the U.S and Canada. He also enjoys meeting other artists on sketch crawls all over the world and is a member of Sketching Workshop, an international group of artists who sketch and share their work on-line.


“This blog site features sketches, and often equally colorful stories behind the scenes, by invited artist correspondents in more than 30 countries around the world. Some are architects and illustrators; others are graphic designers, web developers, painters or educators, all sharing the same passion for drawing on location.” Learn more about Urban Sketchers and find a regional group near you!

Note: this sketch was based on a photo taken during a facility condition assessment. Learn more about VFA’s facility assessment services.

One Response to “The Art of Assessment”

  1. Steve Geary says:

    Robert, what I nice sketch of the chiller and who is that handsome man in the photograph with the ballcap?

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