Our team

OPAL is a service delivered by Bioregional and Transition by Design.

Our team members bring a mixture of skills and expertise

Transition by Design (T/D) is a cross-disciplinary design co-op 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. We work best collaboratively with multiple partners and it is through this process that we believe the most relevant and creative responses are produced. Transition by Design brings an in-depth knowledge of alternative housing models, low impact design and community-led design processes.

Bioregional champions a better, more sustainable way to live. We work with partners to create better places for people to live, work and do business. Bioregional bring over 20 years delivering practical and innovative environmental solutions. Bioregional and its partners have developed a holistic environmental framework called One Planet Living. One Planet Living uses ecological footprinting and carbon footprinting as its headline indicators. It is based on ten guiding principles of sustainability and is integral to the OPAL Approach

The OPAL Project

The OPAL Project was a 20-month action research project funded by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust

The project was based on initial research project and report we produced to explore how we could engage and support the development of low-carbon, affordable communities in the UK.

The OPAL project focused on three priorities:

  • Truly affordable homes linked to incomes and not subject to Right-to-Buy
  • Community-led via a co-operative control and ownership model
  • Use of One Planet Living to create sustainable communities

During the project we identified the need for a structured process to support community-led housing groups. We explored and tested ways to deliver this support and the result is our services offer to community-led housing groups. These are structured through the phases of vision, plan, build and live. Find out more about our services for community-led housing groups here.

We also invested a lot of time considering ways to achieve affordability, conducting detailed investigations into Mutual Home Ownership. This work is ongoing. If you’d like to find out more, please [contact us].