The Swiss design firm ROB GmbH (Robust Outdoor Brands), which created the portable kitchen unit Cuebe, has come up with a simple low-impact housing solution. Named the PODhouse, these prefabricated modules create a great sustainable micro home for the garden, a backyard office or even a secret holiday hideaway. The prototypes have been in development since 2003 and have since been optimized, tested and improved to create this final product now available for purchase.

The PODhouse idea was originally conceived to improve the popular holiday adventure experience of camping during the winter months in the Swiss Alps. The Pods have been thus made using FSC certified wood and are made to withstand the elements whilst also minimizing any impact on the surrounding environment. With rugged durability, good insulation of the floors and walls, and double glazed windows and doors, the PODhouse guarantees a "glamping" experience for those so inclined.

For those wanting to experience a PODhouse in the wintery environment it was created for, the PODhotel in Flims, Switzerland features several PODhouses available to rent. The PODhotel offers low impact accommodation amidst untouched woodlands, with a Swiss Alps backdrop. Guests can choose between a 2-bed or 3-bed Pod equipped with heating, lighting and electricity.

Apart from a luxury winter "camping" experience, the PODhouse can be put to several uses depending on your needs or how far you want to stretch the imagination. An easy extension module provides more room to move and extends the POD by a further 2 meters (6.56 feet). The prefabricated extension simply adjoins to the original PODhouse creating an extra room for luggage, equipment, an office or living space. Further additions include a solar roof panel for electricity and heating, and an extended terrace to open onto the surrounding nature. Whilst the unit does not feature any plumbing or bathroom facilities, combining the PODhouse with a Cuebe unit will at least give you the option of doing some cooking.

The PODhouse is available in two different models for purchase and is delivered fully assembled and ready for use. Prices for a simple PODhouse excluding a solar panel start at US$10, 830.

The cost of a night in nature at the PODhotel starts at US$61 per person.