In today’s world, we’re often reminded of the importance of spending time outdoors. When we head to the parks for a walk, we take advantage of outdoor furnishings such as park benches, litter receptacles and bicycle racks. But have you ever stopped to think about what goes into the designing and manufacturing of those outdoor furnishings that we use so often?
Keystone Ridge Designs, Inc. (KRD) has been focusing on those fixtures for more than 25 years. “Outdoor spaces have recently become more important than ever, and it’s our job to make sure these shared spaces are equipped with the right furnishings and aesthetic designs to make them safe, functional, accessible and inviting,” explained KRD Director of Marketing Angela Maloney.
Located in Butler, the company was started in 1995 as a family business with a background in entrepreneurial ventures and the playground manufacturing industry. A combined passion for the outdoors and the manufacturing process led them to focus on furnishing public spaces with quality, commercial-grade steel furnishings with long-term durability.
According to Maloney, this required the company to sometimes make difficult choices, navigate unexpected market and economic challenges and seize strategic business opportunities. She added that KRD is passionate about their work and the people they employ, as well as supporting the community and contributing to the local economy as an American manufacturer.
How the Design Process Works
Touting a wide variety of patented designs and customization capabilities, KRD provides unique installations of benches, litter receptacles, bike racks, table sets, bollards, planters and other outdoor amenities. These products make an impact all across the country, from downtown streetscapes and parks to shopping centers, schools, office complexes and everything in-between.
“Product design is a collaborative process,” said Maloney. “Inspiration comes from the clients we work with and their project needs.
“It includes feedback from the sales team’s field experience and follows trends in landscape architecture and outdoor design,” she added. “It requires open communication between our CAD designers, marketing department and production team. Most importantly, it involves constantly staying in touch with how the needs of public spaces are changing.”
You’ve no doubt seen Keystone Ridge Designs’ products throughout Adams, Pine, McCandless and Jackson townships, including at Wexford Plaza and the UPMC Spine Center. McCandless Crossing also utilizes the talent and products of the company in its projects.
“We’ve done a couple of projects with Keystone Ridge Designs at McCandless Crossing, and we’re looking to work with them again on the McCandless Square project that’s coming up soon,” said Todd Pifer, property manager for Adventure Development, adding that he’s impressed with the way the company backs its work. “We’re also working on a project in Raleigh, NC and will be using KRD.”
The entire manufacturing process is performed by skilled employees in Butler, starting with regionally sourced raw materials and including cutting, bending, welding, grinding, sandblasting, finishing and packaging. The benches, table sets, trash cans, bicycle racks and more are then shipped all across the country.
Zelienople’s relationship with Keystone Ridge Designs dates back decades to when the company created a design to stamp the name ‘Zelienople’ on the ends of park benches.
“Bob Householder developed a project with the Chamber of Commerce to allow residents to purchase benches and add a plaque in honor or memory of someone,” explained Andrew Spencer, assistant to the borough manager, of the project’s popularity that continues today. The borough maintains the benches in perpetuity.
“I can’t say enough good things about them,” he added of the company. “They have always been really helpful and very supportive. They bend over backwards to work with you, and their prices are very fair.”
Next time you’re opting for a little outside time, take a look around at the outdoor furnishings. You’ll likely have a new appreciation for all that intricate design work happening in the community.