A Message from the Acting State Architect on COVID-19 and DSA Client Services
Beginning Monday, March 16, 2020 DSA will be holding all client meetings, including back checks, virtually over the web. Please see the message below to make arrangements for your meeting.
At the Division of the State Architect (DSA), the health and safety of our colleagues and clients are our top priority. As this world health emergency unfolds, we will all be making adjustments to the way we live and work. In Governor Gavin Newsom’s recent public briefing he stressed that the health risk to the general public in California remains low at this time and state and local health officials are actively engaged in preparation to keep Californians safe should the risk of infection to the general public increase.
We understand that due to school closures and localized restrictions our clients may have difficulty meeting a scheduled appointment at DSA, or accessing in-person the necessary services we provide. In addition, congregating in groups greater than 10 is being discouraged.
DSA is taking initiative to ease concerns of our colleagues and clients and has decided to temporarily suspend in-person back checks and over-the-counter plan reviews. Beginning Monday, March 16, 2020, we will provide these services in accordance with the following procedures:
Electronic Remote Back Check (RBC):
Back check will continue to be electronic, but will occur remotely. The RBC process will require design professionals do the following:
Schedule your appointment for Electronic Back Check with the lead plan reviewer.
Prior to the meeting, the lead plan reviewer will send you instructions via email as to how to connect via Microsoft Teams and Bluebeam. To prepare in advance for your remote back check you can download for free from the web Microsoft Teams software for both Macs and PCs.
Clients will need to have access to a computer with speakers and microphone or telephone. A camera is not necessary.
Over the Counter (OTC) Reviews:
OTC will continue to be a paper submittal, and will require design professionals do the following:
Make an appointment with the lead plan reviewer for OTC reviews.
Mail-in or hand deliver the project submittal with paper drawings and specs, a DSA-1 form and a check for fees prior to the OTC appointment. All necessary documentation and payment of fees must be received by DSA by the appointment date.
DSA will review and provide comments within 2 days of the appointment. The lead plan reviewer will notify clients when drawings with comments will be available for pickup from the DSA office.
Meetings with DSA Staff:
The Governor’s directives indicate that in-person meetings of less than 10 people can still occur at this time. DSA offices will remain open for in-person meetings until further notice. For those visiting our offices, and in order to maintain a safe and healthy work environment, we have taken steps to increase cleaning frequency of high touch areas within our office locations, and have available hand sanitizer stations throughout the public areas of our offices for use by our clients. However, clients unable to attend an in-person meeting should contact the Supervisor for the respective discipline in the respective DSA Regional Office to ask for an accommodation in lieu of an in-person meeting.
Duration of Amended Procedures
DSA will implement these new procedures until further notice. We ask that staff and clients exhibit courtesy and patience with each other during this trial period brought upon us by this health crisis. We look forward to receiving your feedback so that we can make improvements to the electronic services we offer in the future.
DSA will continue to provide services and update our procedures informed by the latest science-based information provided by state and local health officials and guided by DSA’s core mission and values. DSA is committed to meeting the needs of our schools and stakeholders by keeping our offices open, limiting contact through social distancing when we can, and making the accommodations needed to keep work flowing. Please stay healthy, and we look forward to seeing you in our offices as soon as we have been given direction by state and local health officials to resume normal operations.