The following Bulletins, Guidelines, Interpretations of Regulations, Policies and Procedures are developed, approved and published by DSA Headquarters for the benefit of our stakeholders to provide guidelines on acceptable means of achieving compliance with Building Regulations and Standards, and for the purpose of promoting consistent enforcement of code requirements among the DSA Regional Offices. Any document that is posted on the DSA web site at the time of project submittal is considered to be in effect for the project.

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A DSA Bulletin (BU) is a notification to its stakeholders regarding any issue intended to be directed to a broad group of external stakeholders as well as DSA staff. Bulletins are generally used to provide notification of a specific concern arising from an event or previously unknown condition, and pertaining to building code requirements. Bulletins have been issued to announce the acceptance of projects under codes when updated codes are issued, or to inform stakeholders of safety issues with certain building products or techniques.


A DSA Guideline (GL) is a compilation of recommendations based on Code, referenced standards and DSA practices. These guidelines are designed to give the design professional helpful information and insight into the DSA project application submittal and review processes. Guidelines are provided by DSA in support of the USP goals of giving stakeholders the information they need in order to be able to work smoothly and efficiently with DSA, and to help standardize practices among the four DSA Regional Offices.


About IRs

Interpretation of Regulations (IR) documents are created and updated by the Division of the State Architect (DSA) for use by all DSA Team Members and are intended to promote uniform statewide criteria relating to the design, construction and inspection of public school, community college and essential services building projects. The text and drawings IRs may contain are not appropriate for verbatim inclusion into project construction documents. The design professional in responsible charge is responsible for specifying and detailing requirements for each project.

Subject to Interpretation

IRs are neither regulatory nor enforceable as law. IRs provide clarification of a wide variety of specific code requirements and while compliance with these interpretations will assist designers in presenting complete submittal packages, DSA will consider alternate materials and methods of construction proposed by design professionals. Provisions of IRs are applicable to all projects under DSA’s jurisdiction, while decisions by DSA plan reviewers are applicable only to the specific project under review.

Understanding the Numbering

IRs are numbered for identification by location of the topic within the following 12 parts of the California Code of Regulations, Title 24:

Number Code Title


California Administrative Code (CAC)



California Building Code (CBC)

16, 17, etc.


California Electrical Code (CEC)



California Mechanical Code (CMC)



California Plumbing Code (CPC)



California Energy Code






California Historical Building Code



California Fire Code



California Existing Building Code



California Green Building Standards Code



California Reference Standards Code


Many IRs include a prefix letter in their title and this letter corresponds with the applicable Part of Title 24 as identified in the Table above. IRs associated specifically with Part 2 of the California Building Code (CBC) are quite numerous and include the corresponding Part 2 Chapter number instead of a prefix letter. When necessary, a suffix has also been added to the IR title indicating the applicable CBC edition to distinguish significant changes that may exist between code cycles, and that affect a particular IR. For example, “IR 17-3” refers to Part 2, Chapter 17, the third IR generated for that chapter; the most recent version for that document posted on the DSA web site at the time of project submittal is considered to be in effect for the project.

Understanding the Revision Marks

Revised IRs may include marginal markings as follows:

  • Solid vertical lines in the right-hand margin within the body of the IR indicate a change from the previously published IR. (Minor or editorial revisions may not be marked.)
  • Arrows in the right-hand margin indicate a deletion from the previously published IR.


By its statutory authority and responsibility, per Education Code Sec. 17308 , DSA establishes and publishes consensus guidelines known as Interpretations of Regulations (IR). These documents clarify the intent of one or more code provisions applicable to design and construction of buildings or facilities projects under DSA jurisdiction. IRs present readily acceptable means of compliance with code provisions; however, DSA will consider other means proposed by design professionals. Provisions of IR's are applicable to all projects generally, while decisions by DSA plan reviewers are applicable only to the specific project under review.

IR A-34: 

Existing Buildings

IR EB-6:

  • Voluntary Seismic Upgrade
    Coming Soon

Means of Egress

Not Applicable

Fire Protection & Life Safety Systems

IR 9-1:

IR 9-2:


Roofing & Roof Structures

Structural Design

Structural Tests & Special Inspections

Soils & Foundations





Glass & Glazing

Gypsum Board & Plaster

Elevators & Conveying Systems

Special Construction

IR 31-1:




Pre-Check (PC) Design Criteria


  • IR N-1 Superseded by PR 18-02

  • IR N-2: Requirement for Carbon Dioxide (C02) Monitoring in Public Schools–Repealed, superseded by BU 21-01 

Fire Protection Systems


A DSA Policy (PL) is a set of governing statements established through internal and external stakeholder consensus based on law and code objectives, addressing any aspect of DSA's plan and construction review program that is not clearly addressed by code. Policy also may specify administrative or technical requirements that are not yet addressed within Title 24, but are deemed important and necessary to fulfill code objectives in advance of, or in lieu of, adoption into the California Building Standards Code. With the effective date of the new 2007 Title 24 codes (January 1, 2008), DSA began phasing out Structural Policies, upgrading them to IR's if still needed under the new codes, or deleting them, as appropriate.


A DSA Procedure (PR) is process or series of steps that DSA staff and/or external stakeholders must complete in order to fulfill one or more administrative requirements of DSA's plan and construction review programs.

CONTACT DSA Headquarters

Headquarters Office

Division of the State Architect

1102 Q Street, Suite 5100
Sacramento, CA 95811


Reception (916) 445-8100
Fax (916) 445-3521

Headquarters Office Phone Roster (XLS)

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