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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.

Proposed Irrigation Water Efficiency Requirements

The Division of the State Architect (DSA) recently proposed revised water efficiency requirements for public school and community college irrigated landscape areas. Following discussions with stakeholders, DSA proposed the revisions to modify the water efficiency requirements previously approved on May 29, 2015.

In response to the current drought state of emergency and Governor Brown’s Executive Order B-29-15, the latest proposed changes to the 2013 California Green Building Standards (CALGreen) Code require reduction in outdoor potable water use for all new building construction, and for additions over 1,000 square feet. The revisions address applicability of irrigation requirements to existing sites, and outline project fees.

DSA will present the proposed changes at the July 21, 2015 Building Standards Commission meeting. Upon adoption, the new CALGreen requirements will apply to school construction projects submitted to DSA.

Protecting Schools from Nonstructural Earthquake Hazards

During the recent South Napa Earthquake on August 24, 2014, public schools performed very well with little structural damage resulting to school buildings. However, several structures did experience limited nonstructural damage to architectural, mechanical and electrical features including suspended ceilings, light fixtures, and cabinets and shelves. This earthquake serves as a reminder of the potential safety hazards that can occur from nonstructural features improperly attached to the structure. DSA advises school districts to take the opportunity to review the Guide and Checklist for Nonstructural Earthquake Hazards in California Schools (PDF) and assess school buildings to reduce potential safety hazards from nonstructural elements. 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.

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 Web page for a letter to our stakeholders, sharing initiatives and changes the Division of the State Architect has underway and is planning to implement.