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.

The DRAFT of Version 4.0 of the Evergreen Sustainable Development Standard is now available for review at

November 25, 2020, during which all interested parties are encouraged to submit input. In response to stakeholder requests, the public comment period end date has been extended. It will now close at 11:59 PM on February 12, 2021. An online public hearing is scheduled for February 11, 2021 (more information below).

In addition, a Learning Session has been scheduled to inaugurate a greater level of technical assistance for ESDS v4.0. This Learning Session will be hosted by the Housing Development Consortium of Seattle (“HDC”), and will take place online on January 14, 2021. Please click here to be taken to HDC’s event registration page.

Opportunities to comment include:

When:             November 25, 2020 through February 12, 2021
How:               Send your comments to the contact listed below by 11:59 pm, February 12, 2021.

When:     February 11, 2021, Noon to 4:00 PM
How:       Call in option:  Dial +1 (253) 215-8782
                                           Meeting ID: 836 2199 6056
                                           Passcode: 372133
                Online option:

If you are unable to attend the online public hearing, emailed comments will be accepted into the public comment record. Please send them to Comments must be received by 11:59pm, February 12, 2021.

For additional information on the ESDS program, contact Sean Harrington, (360) 725-2995,

Related Law

Development Documents