SOLAR IN SCHOOLS: Photovoltaic Installations

This page is dedicated to resources and guidelines for those considering photovoltaic (PV) installations on California school and community college campuses.

The Division of the State Architect (DSA) oversees construction projects on California K–14 campuses by providing plan review and approval, and construction oversight of projects, in response to applications from California school and community college districts.

For questions related to PV projects, email your inquiry to:

Division of the State Architect
Headquarters Office
Ms. Ida A. Clair, AIA, LEED AP, CASp
Principal Architect

Projects Requiring DSA Review (Examples)

  • New construction including ground mounted solar installations in parking areas, canopies and shade structures.
  • New building construction involving solar panels on roofs.
  • Structural alterations including solar installations on existing building roofs.

For more information refer to DSA Project Submittal Planning.

Projects Excluded or Exempt from DSA Review (Examples)

  • Excluded projects: fenced off ground mounted photovoltaic installations (see DSA IR 16-8, Section 5 (PDF - 433 KB) for more information).
  • Alteration projects, including solar installations on existing building roofs, with estimated construction cost below a specified amount (see DSA IR A-10 (PDF - 53 KB) for more information).

DSA Plan Review & Construction Oversight

Solar Installation Projects: Plan Review Options

Expedited Review:

Traditional Review:

  • Projects with solar installations and other construction.
  • Estimated approval time varies by project size and complexity.
  • For information and plan review time estimates, see DSA Plan Review Time Estimate Information.

Construction Oversight

After the plans are approved, DSA is notified by the design professional or proposed inspector of the start of construction. DSA reviews the qualifications of and approves the proposed project inspector(s) who will inspect the construction. See the DSA Construction Oversight section for more information.

For any questions related to the plan review and construction oversight of PV projects, contact the DSA Regional Office with jurisdiction over the county in which the school/community college district is located (see DSA Regions Map).

Technical Guidelines

Useful Links

For additional information on sustainable school sites, see the DSA Grid Neutral Guidebook (PDF - 2.51 MB).