Regular Rulemaking: Accessibility Code Change Proposal

Proposed amendments to CCR Title 24, Part 2 (California Building Code) and Part 10 (California Existing Building Code) have been submitted to the California Building Standards Commission for the 45-day public comment period. Submittal documents are provided on DSA’s Access 2016 Web page.


2015 Green California Schools and Community Colleges Summit – October 29-30

The Green California Schools and Community Colleges Summit and Exposition will take place at the Pasadena Convention Center on October 29-30, 2015.

The Summit is an annual event focused on green programs in the nation’s largest K-12 system and higher education systems. With the theme “Achieving the Benefits of High Performance Schools,” the Summit will highlight the economic, educational, and community benefits that districts achieved by making a commitment to sustainability.

Presenters from the Division of the State Architect include State Architect Chester A. Widom, FAIA, and Deputy State Architect Bob Chase, AIA.

The Summit will feature dozens of educational sessions, an exhibit hall with over 100 companies participating, and an annual Leadership Awards reception that recognizes outstanding projects at California campuses. Registration for the keynote session, Leadership Awards, and the exhibit hall is free.

For more information and to register, go to www.green-technology.org/gcschools15/ or call (626) 577-5700.


DSA Academy Class Offerings: CASp 101

For the first time, the Division of the State Architect (DSA) offers the DSA Academy’s CASp 101 course in Paso Robles and Riverside.

CASp 101: Certification and Practice (1 day – $75) highlights significant changes to the DSA Certified Access Specialist (CASp) Program, with information relevant to the CASp, candidates interested in seeking certification, or individuals who want to find out more about the CASp Program.

These classes are being offered in:

Paso Robles on October 2, 2015 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Riverside on October 23, 2015 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

These are trial offerings; DSA may not offer classes at these locations again in the future. Enroll now!

To register for a DSA Academy class, please visit the DSA Academy website.

2015 National Board Elections

2015 ACIA National Board Elections

We are now seeking nominations for the 2015 National Board Elections in the following positions:

1st VICE PRESIDENT [President Elect] (3 year term 2016-2018)

VICE PRESIDENT (1 yr term 2016)

SECRETARY (2 yr term 2016-17)

REGIONAL DIRECTOR – REGION 1 (2 yr term 2016-2017)

All ACIA General/Registered/Professional/Lifetime Members in good standing may run for office. Associates, Affiliates and Student members may not run for National Office. If you wish to run for President Elect, Vice President or Secretary you must be an RCI in good standing. If you wish to run for Region 1 Director you must be a member of Region 1 – Sacramento-Sierra, Folsom, Northern California or East Bay Chapters, but you are not required to be an RCI holder. Nomination form is attached here.

Nominations are due to be submitted to the Executive Director by mail, fax or email no later than September 10, 2015. You may self nominate. The election will open on September 15, 2015 and close on October 15, 2015. We will be conducting our election and voting via email. If you do not have an email you will receive a mailed ballot.

If any questions, please feel free to contact the office at 626-797-ACIA(2242) or by email to executivedirector@acia.com.


ADA and ABA Standards

U.S. Access Board Releases Next Installment of the Online Guide to the ADA and ABA Standards

Chapter 4 technical bulletins of the online guide to the ADA & ABA Standards and protruding object animation shown in player window The next installment of the U.S. Access Board’s online guide to accessibility standards issued under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) is now available. This material features a series of technical bulletins covering requirements for accessible routes in Chapter 4 of the ADA and ABA Standards, including doors and gates, ramps and curb ramps, and elevators and platform lifts. There is also a bulletin on referenced requirements for accessible means of egress. The documents explain and illustrate requirements in the standards, answer common questions, and offer best practice recommendations.

These bulletins join those released last year when the Board launched the online guide. The first installment provided guidance covering the first three chapters of the standards, including application and use of the standards, scoping in new construction, alterations, and additions, and basic “building block” technical provisions.

The online guide also features a popular series of animations that covers wheelchair maneuvering, entrances and doors, and toilet and bathing facilities. The new installment adds to the series an animation on hazards that protruding objects pose to people with vision impairments. This animation demonstrates standard cane technique, different examples of wall-mounted and free-standing protruding objects, and various treatments to reduce hazards and to make objects comply with specifications in the standards.

The Guide to the ADA Standards covers design requirements for places of public accommodation, commercial facilities, and state and local government facilities covered by the ADA.
Guide to the ADA Standards

The Guide to the ABA Standards addresses similar standards that apply under the ABA to facilities that are designed, constructed, altered, or leased with federal funds.
Guide to the ABA Standards

Future installments to the guides will be published as they become available. Users can sign-up to receive email updates on the release of new technical guides in the series.
Click to sign-up


Shotcrete Special Inspector Testing

The Division of the State Architect (DSA) has updated the Shotcrete Special Inspector testing and certification procedures to reflect current code provisions and reference standards (2013 California Code of Regulations). The examination is offered for individuals interested in becoming certified as a Shotcrete Special Inspector, and for individuals renewing an existing Shotcrete Special Inspector certification.

Please note that DSA now requires renewal of Shotcrete Special Inspector certification every four years and this requirement supersedes previously established renewal dates. Individuals with existing certifications subject to renewal prior to January 1, 2016 were contacted by mail.

Exam Schedule:

Date Location Latest Postmark Date for Application Filing
August 27, 2015 Sacramento, CA August 13, 2015
September 30, 2015 San Diego, CA September 16, 2015
November 20, 2015 San Diego, CA November 6, 2015
December 10, 2015 Sacramento, CA November 26, 2015

Please visit the DSA website at www.dgs.ca.gov/dsa/home.aspx for more information on the updated Shotcrete Special Inspection program.


Proposed Landscape Irrigation Water Efficiency Requirements

Dear Colleagues:

As you are well aware, we are in a fourth straight year of drought and our state’s current water shortage is unprecedented. Governor Brown reiterated that we are in a State of Emergency in January, and called upon all Californians to reduce urban water use by 25 percent. It is clear that we cannot treat water as an endless resource, and we must change the way we as a state approach outdoor landscaping.

New commercial and residential buildings must now include water-efficient landscaping. Water limitations are in place for landscape irrigation outside of hospitals and skilled nursing facilities. Schools must also do their part to conserve.

To help schools and community colleges respond to the drought challenges and the Governor’s call to action, the Division of the State Architect (DSA) recently proposed water efficiency requirements for irrigated landscape areas. The requirements, which apply to all new construction and building additions of more than 1,000 square feet, will be considered on an emergency basis at the July 21, 2015 Building Standards Commission meeting. If approved, we anticipate an effective date of October 1, 2015. Read more in our fact sheet and in the text of the proposed California Administrative Code changes, and the proposed California Green Building Standards Code changes.

By engaging stakeholders throughout the process, DSA incorporated valuable feedback. DSA’s original proposal included landscape rehabilitation requirements for school modernization projects, but after considering stakeholder feedback, we changed the requirements to apply only to new construction and additions. DSA also originally considered requiring an area of landscape rehabilitation equal to 100 percent of the new building’s footprint. Instead, we are proposing an area of landscape rehabilitation equal to 75 percent of the new building’s footprint.

We recognize that landscape areas often serve important functions in schools, and the proposed regulations seek to balance the maintenance of these areas with our significant need to conserve water. The regulations allow a higher level of water use for school landscape areas than that permitted for commercial and residential landscape areas. In addition, landscape areas dedicated to specific educational or recreational purposes, such as vegetable gardens and playing fields, and areas using recycled water, are allowed additional water to maintain their functionality.

We designed the regulations to allow flexibility for school districts to meet the new statewide requirements in the ways that best suit their local-level needs. Although all new campuses and all new or rehabilitated landscaping must comply with the requirements, schools have district-wide options to perform required landscape irrigation work on a different campus, if desired. School districts can even receive credit toward landscape requirements associated with future construction projects if they choose to complete a stand-alone landscape project now. Additionally, no additional landscape rehabilitation is required for projects constructing a new building on a previously landscaped area, since the project already reduces water consumption.

DSA is committed to developing a clear, streamlined process to assist schools and community colleges to comply with the new requirements. DSA’s review fee for these requirements will be fixed at $500, and we will work with districts to ensure project schedules are not adversely affected. Schools can demonstrate compliance with the self-certification of a design professional at the beginning and end of a project. Landscaping requirements will not preclude DSA certification of construction projects. If all landscape areas on a construction campus already comply with the irrigation requirements, the school district is not obligated to bring other district landscape areas into compliance.

As a result of complying with the regulations, school districts will achieve cost savings over time by reducing the amount of water used for irrigation. In addition, the regulations will help school districts meet requirements of their local water districts and the Governor’s Executive Order. The changes also provide an opportunity for school districts to set the example for water conservation among their students and communities. But most importantly, making these changes conserves a valuable resource in our state’s time of need.

DSA will publish information and resources to provide technical assistance for school districts. School districts are encouraged to contact their local water districts for information on potential funding programs to assist in water conservation efforts.

We recognize that the changes in these regulations represent only a few ways that school districts can reduce water consumption. We will continue to share DSA resources such as our recent water conservation infographic, and outside resources such as www.SaveOurWater.com and the California Department of Education’s Drought Response Best Practices and Resources. In the near future, DSA also plans to develop an online forum for school districts to collaborate and share innovative ideas and best practices for conservation.

I applaud your dedication and ongoing efforts to conserve water. Together, we will keep making a difference.

Chester A. Widom, FAIA
State Architect


Extended Public Comment Period – CASp Program Proposed Rulemaking

The public comment period for the proposed modifications to the voluntary Certified Access Specialist (CASp) Program is extended. Any interested person may submit written comments relevant to the modifications. Comments must be submitted to DSA no later than Monday, July 27, 2015, at 5 p.m.

The rulemaking documents are available online: www.dgs.ca.gov/dsa/Programs/programCert/casp/CASpReg.aspx


DSA’s Quarterly Form and Publication Changes Summary

The Second Quarter 2015 summary of new and revised documents is now available!

The list includes documents, such as Forms, Bulletins, and Interpretations of Regulations, that were added or revised in January, February, and March 2015.

This, and previous summaries, are also posted in the DSA News & Events at www.dgs.ca.gov/dsa/NewsEvents.aspx.

Please contact DSAcommunication@dgs.ca.gov with any questions about this information.