welcome to the
opal project
- one planet affordable living -

OPAL priorities

The OPAL approach focuses on achieving seven priorities


Delivering One Planet Living through a One Planet Action Plan (OPAP) – see overleaf



Affordable based on local incomes; in perpetuity – not subject to Right-to-Buy

Go to communities lead

communities lead

Residents playing a lead role in shaping and operating their community

good design

creating beautiful places to live and work based on needs

Go to Self-sustaining


Financially viable and self-sustaining through income generation

Delivering at scale

Facilitating the purchase of large sites, with village-scale clusters of co-operatives

earn equity

Ability for occupants to earn equity from the scheme

OPAL project

Why One Planet Affordable Living?
A holistic approach to low impact, genuinely affordable, community-led housing

The UK is currently in the clutches of a housing crisis built on years of undersupply that has fuelled spiralling house prices relative to incomes. As a result, buying a house has become increasingly unattainable, particularly for those on lower-incomes. There exists an absence of holistic, aspirational housing approaches which incorporate environmentally driven sustainability, cater to this expanding need, whilst also facilitating happy, healthy lifestyles that don’t cost the earth.

OPAL uses tried and tested mechanisms for building affordable and sustainable homes but innovates by combining them in unique and contextual ways to achieve a projects priorities.

OPAL project is a 20-month action research initiative part-sponsored by Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust.

  • linked to incomes; not subject to Right-to-Buy

  • co-operative control and ownership

  • creating sustainable communities

  • integration of priorities and stakeholders

Our Team

OPAL Project is a partnership between Transition by Design and Bioregional

Transition by Design

design + affordability lead
T/D is a cross-disciplinary design co-operative operating at the junction of architecture, strategic design and social change practice. Our work focuses on the transition to an equitable and convivial low-carbon society.


environmental lead
Bioregional champions a better, more sustainable way to live. Our ambition is simple. We want our practical projects to inspire people to live happy, healthy lives within the natural limits of the planet, leaving space for wildlife and wilderness. We call this One Planet Living.

Read our One Planet Afforable Living report in full


Drop us a line if you'd like to find out more, or if you have any questions