PROPOSITION 39: California Clean Energy Jobs Act

This page is dedicated to resources and guidelines for those considering energy efficiency projects funded by Proposition 39, Clean Energy Jobs Act, at California school and community college campuses.

The Division of the State Architect provides plan review and construction oversight for K–12 schools and community colleges in California.

For any questions related to DSA plan review for compliance with the California Code of Regulations, Title 24, visit the DSA region map and click on your region for contact information.


Structural and Fire & Life Safety Requirements

The Division of the State Architect (DSA) Structural Safety (SS) and Fire and Life Safety (FLS) review and approval is required for alterations or additions made to existing public school building construction for compliance with the California Code of Regulations, Title 24, except under certain conditions indicated in California Administrative Code (CAC) Sections 4-308 and 4-309(a) and further clarified in the DSA Interpretation of Regulations Document IR A-10: Alteration and Reconstruction Projects - DSA Approval Exemption (PDF - 53 KB).

For example, DSA review and approval is not required for alteration or reconstruction projects:

  • With an estimated construction cost of $103,300, or less, for 2017 and 2018; or
  • With an estimated construction cost greater than $103,300, but not in excess of $232,425, for 2017 and 2018, when certain conditions are met.

Certain energy efficiency projects may be exempted from DSA SS and FLS review and approval. The following table lists potential project types and the related DSA requirements for review and approval of SS and FLS.

Table 1: DSA Requirements for Structural (SS) and Fire & Life Safety (FLS)

Additionally, the CAC Section 4-309(c) requires a structural rehabilitation to existing school buildings when any of the following conditions occur:

  • The alteration project cost exceeds 50 percent of building replacement value (excluding certain maintenance work and air-conditioning equipment and voluntary seismic strengthening work).
  • The building seismic mass in any story is increased by more than 10 percent.
  • The building seismic load capacity of any component is reduced by more than 5 percent.
  • The risk category is changed to an occupancy that results in the structure being reclassified to a higher risk category.

Accessibility Requirements

The DSA must review and approve public school construction for compliance with accessibility standards given in the California Code of Regulations, Title 24, Part 2 (CBC), Chapter 11B when alterations or additions are made to existing buildings. If the existing “path of travel” elements do not comply with current code provisions, upgrades are required to the area of the work and designated elements serving the altered area. Upgrades to the current “path of travel” are required as follows:

  • If the cost of the project is below $161,298, then the cost of compliance is limited to 20 percent of the adjusted construction cost.
  • If the cost is $161,298 or higher, there is no limit to the cost of compliance unless the enforcing agency determines the cost of compliance is an unreasonable hardship.
  • If unreasonable hardship is determined, there must be compliance by equivalent facilitation or to the greatest extent possible. However, the cost of compliance shall not be less than 20 percent of the adjusted construction cost.

Under the current CBC accessibility provisions, certain energy conservation and efficiency projects may or may not trigger accessibility upgrades outside the area of the project work. The following table lists potential project types and the related requirements for accessibility upgrades.

Table 2: DSA Requirements for Accessibility Upgrades


Plan Review Options

DSA offers accelerated and conventional plan reviewing for Proposition 39 projects depending on the complexity of the alteration project. See the DSA Proposition 39 Process Diagram (PDF - 124 KB) showing the DSA process set up specifically for Proposition 39 projects.

Construction Oversight

After the construction documents are approved, DSA is notified by the design professional of the start of construction. DSA then reviews and approves the qualifications of the proposed project inspector(s). Visit the DSA Construction Oversight section for more information.

Note that Proposition 39 projects exempt from DSA plan review and approval will not receive construction oversight by DSA; however, a project inspector is still required to be hired by the school district.