- Site location and neighborhood planning;
- Water conservation;
- Energy efficiency and the incorporation of renewable energy technologies; and
- Environmentally-conscious construction practices, building materials and improved indoor-air quality.
All projects must comply with all mandatory measures. New construction must also earn a minimum of 50 points from the optional measures, and rehabilitation projects must earn 40 points from the optional measures. Optional measures are assigned a point value that can range from 1 point (e.g., for designing a building solar-ready) to 15 points (e.g., for achieving greater points for energy efficiency under Washington State's Energy Code). Installing a solar photovoltaic system can earn up to 5 points. Solar water heaters that meet certain design criteria and provide 50% of the total water heating needs of a house can earn 10 points.
In addition to these optional measures, there are a variety of mandatory measures and equipment requirements which have to be met. The mandatory elements span the range of sustainable building categories and the program guidelines provide full details. Affordable housing projects constructed without state funds do not need to comply with this code, but any project that receives funding must comply with the Evergreen Standard as of July 1, 2008.