Shielding the structural core of Westfield Shopping Centre, London

Shielding the structural core of Westfield Shopping Centre, London

About the project

The £600 million retail expansion of Westfield London opened to the public on 20th March 2018 and has had to overcome some challenges to ensure the buildings structure is protected from collisions with vehicles.  Cappagh Construction were responsible for the civils package including draining, utility provision and highway construction for the extended Westfield site.

Phase 2 Westfield Shopping Centre – Courtesy of Sheppard Robson

The extension of Westfield involved constructing a 5 floor building over existing and new roads leading to and from Shepherds Bush bus station. The building was also built on top of the Central Line underground tunnels, live and disused, so all the integral building support structures needed to be protected from potential collisions with live traffic.



During the construction phases, there was a requirement for Shepherds Bush bus station to remain open. It is a busy public transport interchange for the local area and there are over 40 bus routes using the station equating to over 1000 vehicles per day using the roads within the Westfield building site.

Barriers providing a protective zone around stanchions of building

As Phase 2 of the expansion plans were built, the building structure needed protecting from live traffic running through the ground floor of the building.  Any collision between vehicles and the support structures could lead to potential damage to the underground tunnel below and the 5 floors above. Therefore, permanent barriers with high containment levels were a necessity.

The barriers also needed to be aesthetically pleasing as they were located in public areas and had to connect to existing structures and transition seamlessly from one area to another to provide full protection to the building structure.


The solution

APC Civils worked with Cappagh Construction and offered a number of solutions to overcome these challenges.

  • High containment levels

APC manufacture and supply a German designed barrier, System Spengler which is EN1317 compliant and has a containment rating of H2 / W1. This demonstrates the barrier has been tested for impact using 13,000kg buses and offers the highest level of protection to safeguard the structure of the building and the underground tunnel below from collision damage.

  • Bespoke design, engineering and manufacturing

Due to the structure of the building being already in place, APC had to design a barrier solution to fit around the stanchions. Our engineering team visited site to survey the areas and develop designs to protect the stanchions and provide tidy transitions with the existing structure of the building.  Bespoke precast barriers were then manufactured by APC and then installed on site.

Bespoke manufacturing of barriers

  • Work restrictions

Due to the bus station being live all through the construction phase, work to install the barriers could only take place between midnight and 5am when road closures could be put in place. This meant that the installation had to be meticulously planned and carried out swiftly by APC’s installation team. APC has a large amount of experience of working night shifts and being under time pressures – something the team are well trained at carrying out efficiently.


Working with APC Civils

The Project Manager for Cappagh Construction, Denis Leahy, first met the team on an initial site visit to review the barrier works. “APC were incredibly helpful from day one. They considered a number of design options to provide effective protection for the main structure of the building and they made it work.”

Mind the bus! – working in restricted areas around Shepherds Bush bus station

He adds “I chose to work with APC as other companies were unable to offer the level of design service, technical experience and manufacturing capability. The precast nature of their barrier was a preferred option to ensure high levels of quality control. APC’s solution gave neat designs to protect the stanchions in areas of limited space.”

“APC operated professional logistics for delivering the barrier into site as storage was not an option.  This led to the barriers being installed quickly to meet the restricted work times to access the stanchions without being obstructed by bus traffic.”

APC Civils have successfully completed three phases of protective barrier works at Westfield, London throughout late 2017 and early 2018.



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