Big River Group supplied a vast range of formwork and building materials for the redevelopment of the 100-year-old A-Shed warehouse in Fremantle, Western Australia. A diverse manufacturer and distributor of timber and building products, Big River was involved in the build from the very beginning.

In a first-of-its-kind transformation, ICS Australia completed the building works on the heritage-listed goods shed located at Fremantle Ports for the state’s biggest brewer, Gage Roads. The $10-million conversion not only created Gage Roads’ flagship microbrewery but also delivered an iconic destination in the city’s inner harbour.

Gage Roads Freo, which opened in January 2022, operates as a brewery, restaurant and family-friendly venue with capacity for 1,500 patrons.

Occupying a total land area of more than 3,000m², the dockside cargo shed takes full advantage of the building’s heritage features and A Berth frontage to the port. Refurbishment was undertaken to plans approved by Fremantle Ports in accordance with its heritage obligations. Fremantle Ports also provided guidance and assistance throughout the planning and build phases.

Big River offered a one-stop-shop solution for the transformation, which included structural repairs to the shed’s timber frame and footings.

“We have supplied the project from the beginning of the build right through to the completion of the building phase in late 2021. We were able to supply cost-effective formwork products to the project through our engineered and dimensionally stable LVL formwork and hardwearing formply, Deckply and Armourform,” says Alex King – operations manager at Big River Group’s Midland Timber and Prefab branch in Bellevue.

Further products that were supplied to assist in creating the durable skeleton of the redeveloped A-Shed included Big River’s structural plywood products, Laminex Trade Essentials’ particleboard flooring, LVL13 structural beams, both BGC and CSR fibre cement products as well as internal pine framing solutions.

To assist in maintaining the original integrity of the 100-year-old structure, Big River locally sourced Jarrah bush poles, which were supplied along with external pine framing and Glulam beams. James Hardie’s Linea 180mm fibre cement weatherboards were also used to further support the waterfront aesthetic.

Big River Group has been operating for over 100 years, manufacturing and distributing timber and steel formwork products, timber flooring, building products, structural plywood and related timber products. It also distributes a broad range of other building products, including MaxiWall and MaxiFloor, primarily to the commercial, residential and infrastructure construction market segments.