The Evergreen Sustainable Development Standard (ESDS), currently in Version 3.0.1, is a green building performance standard. Compliance with ESDS is required of all affordable housing projects receiving capital funds from the state Housing Trust Fund program. It contains criteria that safeguard health and safety, increase durability, promote sustainable living, preserve the environment, and increase energy and water efficiency.

Since its inception in response to RCW 39.35D.080, ESDS has been modified and updated through a process of collaboration with affordable housing stakeholders, housing developers, and local governments administering capital funding programs. 

A positive result of this collaborative approach is that Department of Commerce is not the only organization implementing ESDS in its affordable housing programs. ESDS has been adopted and implemented by several other public funders, for example the Washington State Housing Finance Commission, Seattle Office of Housing, and King County.

Compliance with ESDS is twofold: mandatory criteria that all fund recipients must comply with, and a menu of optional criteria that recipients can select from. The optional criteria are each worth a variable number of points, and depending on the type of project (New Construction, Substantial Rehab, or Moderate Rehab) projects must achieve a minimum number of points.

A new Version of ESDS, v4.0, is currently in development. In an effort to continue the collaborative nature of ESDS development, Commerce convened an advisory committee of stakeholders to participate in this review and revision process. Please click here to see the list of ESDS Advisory Team members.

A public comment period will be observed, currently slated for Fall of 2020, to allow for input on the penultimate draft of Version 4.0. More information will be provided on this web page. In the meantime, please contact Sean Harrington, or any member of the Advisory Team, with feedback on your experience with the current ESDS (v3.0), or with suggestions for how to advance the cause of Sustainable Affordable Housing.

Related Law

Development Documents