All Hardscape Blog Posts

Water soaks into a decorative cast iron grate red and brown with developing patina

A Guide to Trench Grates Material

Drainage is a ubiquitous part of construction. It’s so common that it often goes unnoticed unless something goes wrong and water backs up around it. Water management is important to all types of building and landscaping from culverts near fields to the slopes of city streets. Trench drains are found

A woman stands under an umbrella near the port of Vancouver watching cruise ships come in

Sustainable Water Management and the Cities of the Future

Our head office is in the Pacific Northwest: 60 inches of rain falls every year outside our office windows. Perhaps it’s our wet umbrellas and muddy shoes that have us considering water management in the future growth of cities. Or maybe it’s hearing odd news stories from our neighbor city,

A city view of New York on the Manhattan side approach to the Brooklyn Bridge

Urban Design and the Outdoor Bench

The atmosphere of a location is built by a thousand small details. Some of it comes down to geography: the quality of light, plants in the ecosystem, and movement of air imprint even in the heart of a city. A city’s personality is also made of the materials and design

Cast iron plates decorate a brick wall in a black and white sketch of a living room

Tree Grates: Cast Iron Decor

Most of our tree and trench grates are bought by municipalities or facilities managers, but we also fulfill smaller orders for homeowners and contractors. The majority of these are cast iron trench drains used in residential driveways. There, they are functional and decorative, and fulfill the same purpose they do

A shot of people walking over cobblestones with trench grating is overlaid on a nighttime aerial shot of Paris.


What is hardscape? Hardscaping at home—making yards into oases Urban hardscape—building the concrete jungle Hardscape vs. site furniture—social spaces and placemaking Rewilding cities Metal hardscape Hardscape design What is hardscape? Hardscape is the term for hard landscaping materials. Concrete, asphalt, stone, glass, brick, metal, and gravel are all hardscape. In

A heavy rain sees water cascading from eaves and tree branches

Trench Drains for Driveways

Managing rain, storm, and flood water is a growing concern for homeowners in changing local climate. Rot and structural damage can result when water management systems are overwhelmed. And there is more water to manage. Flood events are increasing. Heavy precipitation is up. Considering these stresses, municipal downspout disconnection laws

Wood background with metal type saying 2019 Review

Best Bollards (and Hardscape) of 2019

A New Year reminds us to look back at where we’ve come and set intentions for where we’re going. Propelled by new staff and new ideas, 2019 saw a lot of changes at Reliance Foundry! In May, Brent and Brad Done retired. Shane Kramps and Pritesh Desai stepped into their

An ancient roman road and arch still stands in the Aosta valley in Italy

The History of Infrastructure

Infrastructure builds connections between human groups or activities. With infrastructure, people can work together and provide specialized services to one another. In this way, robust infrastructure supports complex societies. Some of the earliest infrastructure projects were roads. Nomadic hunter-gatherer populations were builders—creating monuments of complexity like barrow mounds, stone tombs,

An aerial view of a highway at night gleams with the streaked lights of moving cars

What is Infrastructure?

The term “infrastructure” has traditionally referred to the roads, sewers, and other physical systems that connect different parts of a society and support its functioning. Often,  we talk of infrastructure projects as “shovels in the ground.” We picture construction workers and specialized machinery working to build and maintain connections and

Colorful container ships sit in a busy port at sunrise

Supply Chain Jobs: Procurement, Logistics, and Management

What is a supply chain? A supply chain is a system that brings inputs from different places—raw materials, people, information, and services—and creates a finished output for a consumer. In a supply chain, materials are gathered, processed, shipped, received, synthesized, and delivered as a final product. Many people involved in