Westfield Shopping Centre Case Study


Revitalise Westfield Stratford’s failing green roofs with a biodiverse system, enhancing ecological diversity and aesthetics while ensuring functional sustainability.


The challenge

The initial green roofs installed at Westfield Shopping Centre and its hotel, designed for the Olympics, were failing. The substrates, largely composed of demolition rubble, were unsuitable for vegetation, resulting in barren areas devoid of the intended biodiversity. These challenges were compounded by the need for the green roof to be both a biodiversity haven and an attractive feature within a highly urbanised setting.

External of shopping centre

What was involved

Eco Green Roofs embarked on an ambitious project to transform 1,500m² of ineffective green roofs into vibrant ecosystems. The comprehensive approach involved:

  • Removing the ineffective substrate and introducing a variety of new substrates tailored to support a diverse range of habitats.
  • Designing and implementing features such as undulations, sand piles, log piles, and cobbled areas to create an interesting topography and diverse microhabitats.
  • Installing bird and bat boxes to attract a variety of species and enhance the roof’s biodiversity.
  • Selecting and planting a mix of wildflower plug-plants, seeds, and mats specifically chosen for their local relevance and extended blooming periods to ensure a continuous nectar source for pollinators.
  • Organising logistics for the ‘just in time’ delivery of materials to navigate the challenges posed by the site’s urban location.

Log piles of wild flowers


The solution

The solution was multifaceted, focusing on creating a biodiverse roof system that was both ecologically beneficial and aesthetically pleasing. Eco Green Roofs developed a ‘Gold Package’ service that included:

  • Installation of separation and drainage layers to manage water effectively while preventing substrate spillage.
  • Use of five different substrates to create a mosaic of habitat areas, each tailored to the needs of specific plant types and designed to maximise biodiversity.
  • Integration of bespoke substrate blends, developed by substrate specialists, to ensure the successful establishment and growth of a wide range of plants.

The results

The project successfully revitalised the green roofs at Westfield, delivering:

  • A significantly enhanced biodiverse environment that exceeded the initial ecological objectives, contributing positively to local biodiversity and providing a model for sustainable urban development.
  • A visually appealing green space that compliments the surrounding urban landscape, improving the aesthetic value of the shopping centre and hotel.
  • A functional ecosystem that offers benefits such as improved insulation, stormwater management, and habitat provision for urban wildlife.
  • Recognition for its innovative approach to overcoming the challenges of urban green roofing, achieving a blend of functionality, beauty, and sustainability that aligns with the evolving demands of green infrastructure in urban settings.

This comprehensive transformation not only rectified the previously failing green roofs but also set a new standard for biodiverse roofing systems, demonstrating Eco Green Roofs’ expertise and commitment to creating high-quality, sustainable green spaces in urban environments.


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