Wales has begun promoting its new green approach to architecture in the US to encourage other countries to implement environmentally friendly design elements, which will become mandatory for many buildings from 1 September 2009.

In an effort to reduce the carbon footprint of buildings in Wales, most new structures will have to meet mandatory requirements for conserving water, energy and other resources.

Wales has become the first country in the UK to set a national standard for energy-efficient ‘green’ buildings and has marketed the approach in Washington, US.

Architectural representatives have erected two-timber framed pavilions at the Washington festival, with eco-friendly Welsh building systems to provide US visitors with green ideas for their own homes .

The aim of the new legislation is to reduce greenhouse gases by 3% a year from 2011.

A budget of £300m will be used across departments to assist businesses to go green and lower carbon footprint of cities through sustainable housing.

In line with this, the Welsh woodlands conservation group Coed Cymru and architecture students from Cardiff University has developed Ty Unnos (House Overnight), an affordable housing product constructed from sustainable Welsh timber.