The Division of the State Architect provides design and construction oversight for K–12 schools, community colleges, and various other state-owned and leased facilities. The division also develops accessibility, structural safety, and historical building codes and standards utilized in various public and private buildings throughout the state of California.

State Architect Presents at Green California Summit

On April 10, 2018, State Architect Chester A. Widom, FAIA spoke at the 2018 Green California Summit and Exposition in Sacramento to professionals in the sustainability industry. During State Architect Widom’s keynote address, he spoke of the Division of the State Architect’s efforts on paper saving through electronic plan review and our CALGreen path. A copy of the State Architect’s presentation is available: DSA Green California Summit Presentation 2018 (PowerPoint - 28.9 MB).

DSA 20/20: Focus on the Future - Wrap Up!

The Division of the State Architect (DSA), the Office of Public School Construction and the California Department of Education recently completed a series of statewide outreach events focused on sharing a wide variety of information and the exchanging of ideas for how, together we can deliver educational facilities more efficiently.

For materials, photos and a video recording, please visit the DSA 20/20: Focus on the Future event page.

Project Submittal Appointment Process

The Division of the State Architect (DSA) recently began accepting the first projects scheduled under the new Project Submittal Appointment Process. The new process replaced the previous system that created “bin time” and allows design professionals to work on the project right up until the time of submission.

Procedures for the new process are outlined in DSA procedure PR 17-03: Project Submittal Appointment Process (PDF - 536 KB).

Assistance For Disaster Damaged School Facilities

The Division of the State Architect (DSA) has policies and procedures to expedite the repair or reconstruction of school facilities damaged or destroyed by natural or man-made disasters.

DSA recommends school districts contact their respective DSA regional office for assistance and guidance in repairing or replacing damaged structures or for placement of temporary emergency facilities.

DSA can assist school building owners and design professionals with:

  • Site evaluation and damage assessment.
  • Repair or reconstruction plan development.
  • Pre submission meetings to define timeline and scope for review and approval.

Expedited Plan Review

DSA expedites plan review for any repair or reconstruction of a school building damaged or destroyed by natural or man-made disaster. To qualify for the expedited review, plans must be submitted to DSA within six months of the disaster that caused the damage or destruction.

Immediate Use of Portable Facilities

DSA Policy (IR A-1.16 (PDF - 294 KB)) allows immediate use of specified portable classroom facilities prior to securing approval from DSA to house displaced students. These facilities can be placed on the existing site or on the site of another public school facility.

Pre-Check Approvals (PC)

DSA’s PC approval process streamlines and expedites plan review by providing approval for commonly used school site structures, such as portable facilities, prior to the submittal of plans to DSA. A list of current DSA-approved PCs (Excel - 28 KB) and contact information for DSA-approved relocatable manufacturers (PDF - 69 KB) is available.

Additional Resources for School Disasters:

If you have questions, please contact your DSA Regional Office.

Protecting Schools from Nonstructural Earthquake Hazards

To learn more about avoiding potential safety hazards that can occur during an earthquake from nonstructural features improperly attached to the structure, review the Guide and Checklist for Nonstructural Earthquake Hazards in California Schools (PDF) . This document was jointly produced by the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, the Department of General Services – Division of the State Architect, the Seismic Safety Commission, and the Department of Education.

Structural Plan Review Filing Fee Increased

The Division of the State Architect’s (DSA) structural plan review filing fees increased for K–12 and community college projects projects submitted on or after Oct. 1, 2017. Please note that fees are assessed based on the project submittal date, not the date that the project is registered for submittal with the form DSA 1-REG: Registration for Project Submittal (PDF - 656 KB). The change is to the structural plan review fee only; DSA plan review fees for access compliance, fire and life safety and essential services buildings are not changed.

Refer to the Fees and Time Required webpage and Plan/Field Review Fee Calculator webpage for additional information regarding the increase.

California DSA Announces Easy Access to Uncertified Project Files

California’s school districts, community colleges, and design professionals requested an innovative, convenient, user-friendly process to view a list of outstanding forms, fees, and design documents required by the Division of the State Architect’s (DSA) office. In response, DSA implemented the DSA Certification Box: a cloud-based solution that saves time, increases communication, and helps partners to resolve uncertified projects. DSA Certification Box allows everyone to view uncertified project files, sorted by district, campus, and project. This will streamline the process of submitting required information that ensures compliance with all state codes, policies, and procedures.

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The State Architect’s Corner

See the State Architect’s Corner webpage for a letter to our stakeholders, sharing initiatives and changes the Division of the State Architect has underway and is planning to implement.