THESE futuristic pods are the vision of a specialist architect looking to transform toursim with innovative zero-carbon design.

Designed to ‘passivhaus’ standards - ultra-low energy buildings that require little heating – it is the work of Koru Architects based in Hove.

The ‘PassivPod’ uses all natural materials, rainwater harvesting, solar power and a wood stove - with four spacious double bedrooms and luxury features including a hot-tub.

It is designed to be rolled out and used in remote rural areas, with no electricity or gas grid required as it generates all its own power.

Koru director Mark Pellant, an industry award winner for his contributions to sustainable home design, was inspired to make his work more sustainable after travelling in India and Nepal where he saw first-hand the devastating impact of climate change.

He said: “It was clear climate change and the effects of floods, droughts and contaminated water were hitting some of the world’s most vulnerable people.

“It really opened my eyes and made me determined to start my own practice based on sustainable design.”

In the UK, 37 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions come from buildings, largely from space-heating, with tourism a big part of this, as 70 million people take a holiday each year.

The PassivPod also has a wellbeing element, and is built according to the idea that spending time in nature is beneficial to health.

The project is about promoting connection with nature, making the tourism sector more sustainable and contributing to rural economies.

Practicing what he preaches, Mark lives in a zero-carbon home in Lloyd Close in Hove which he built with his late wife and fellow architect and Koru co-founder Abi Torr.

Still living at the home with his son Alexander, he opens it up to the public for the annual Eco Open Houses.

The house is highly insulated and air-tight, with a wood pellet boiler and solar thermal array providing the small amount of heat required and a large underground rainwater harvesting tank for flushing the toilets.

It was the realisation of a long held dream for Mark and Abi following a five year journey of searching for a suitable site in Brighton &