DSA is a partner in the design and construction of California’s public K–12 schools, community colleges and essential services buildings. DSA also serves other state-funded construction entities such as University of California or the California State University systems' projects in the review of plans for compliance with the accessibility provisions of the building code. The scope of DSA’s plan review services varies depending on the client that owns the facility.

Through DSA’s code development activities, stakeholders who use the building code or benefit from the building code by using the built environment are also served by DSA and are a partner in the development of amendments and participate in the code adoption cycles.

The Field Act requires DSA to review California’s public schools, Kindergarten through 12th grade. It is DSA’s responsibility to assure that schools are safe, accessible and sustainable.

Plans submitted to DSA receive Structural Safety, Access Compliance and Fire and Life Safety review and approval. Projects should be submitted as described on the Construction Projects for School Essential Services Facilities webpage.

DSA has implemented a collaborative process for California’s community colleges that want to partner with DSA earlier in the process to facilitate project review and approval. This process is described in DSA Bulletin 09-07.

Also, changes to Title 24, effective in 2011, allow community colleges to use a version of the building regulations developed to address the unique nature of higher education facilities.

The state’s Essential Services Buildings (ESB) are described in the EssentialServices Building Seismic Safety Act as being able to provide services to the public after a major disaster. Therefore they require the same high level of performance as K–12 schools and community colleges. DSA is charged with the responsibility to enforce the act, so projects for such state buildings are submitted to DSA for review and approval.

State buildings and other state-funded construction, such as buildings in the University of California or the California State University systems, do not fall under the Field Act, so are not reviewed by DSA for structural or fire and life safety. However, these entities are required, per Government Code Sections 4450–4454, to obtain DSA review and approval for access compliance.

DSA's code development and adoption proposals are carried out through the California Building Standards Commission’s rulemaking process. Members of the public present code change suggestions in the areas of accessibility or structural safety to DSA for assessment and pursuit in future rulemaking activities.