Category Archives: DSA News

What’s new from the Division of the State Architect.

Upcoming Design Build Projects

Upcoming Design Build Projects

Dear SB/DVBE supplier,

On July 26, 2017, the firms on the attached flier received Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Air Resources Board’s Southern California Consolidation Project #140769. The current due date for these firms to submit a proposal is Oct. 19, 2017.

Small Businesses and Disabled Veteran Business Enterprises seeking subcontracting opportunities on this project are encouraged to contact the firms on the attachment.

In addition, the Department of General Services (DGS) will be presenting at an outreach event in Riverside for those interested in becoming subcontractors on this project. The types of trades and SB/DVBE certifications needed will be discussed at this event, which will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 12.

Project #140769 Outreach Event will be held from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at:

Bourns Technology Center
1190 Columbia Avenue
Riverside, CA 92507
Seating is limited, so arrive early.

Registration Reminder for the October CASp Exam – New Time!

Division of the State ArchitectRegistration Reminder for the October CASp Exam – New Time!

 

For those who are taking, or are planning to take, the Certified Access Specialist (CASp) examination in October, we would like to remind you that there are only a few days remaining to sign up for the exam. The last day to register is September 11, 2017. You can register for this exam through your CASp Account Login.

The check-in time of these and future exams has changed. Please note the new times, which are listed below. Details on the October CASp examination are as follows:

October 11, 2017 – Open and Closed Book Examinations

OAKLAND
Elihu M. Harris State Office Building
1515 Clay St.,Oakland, CA 94612

ANAHEIM
Red Lion Hotel Anaheim Resort
1850 S. Harbor Blvd., Anaheim, CA 92802

OPEN BOOK EXAMINATION

CLOSED BOOK EXAMINATION

  • Check in begins at 1:30 p.m. — New Time!
  • 90-minute examination.

For information on admission into the testing room, please refer to the CASp Examination, Certification, and Practice Standards Handbook. More information about the CASp program and examination details are available on the CASp webpage. Please direct any registration questions to the CASp Certification team at (916) 323-2737 or CASprogram@dgs.ca.gov. You may direct any questions about CASp Program Administration to (916) 322-2490

DSA Academy – October Accessibility Classes

 

Division of the State Architect

DSA Academy – October Accessibility Classes

We are pleased to announce the October DSA Academy accessibility classes! For more information about the class, learning objectives, and to register, click on the class title below. Additional dates and locations for 2017 DSA Academy classes are also posted online.
 
ACCESSIBILITY
We offer a multi-class discount (buy three, get one free) on the accessibility classes if you take the classes as a set. Sign up for three classes and then send an email to DSAAcademy@dgs.ca.gov to be signed up for the free class.

More detailed registration information and instructions are available on the DSA Academy Registration Information webpage.
 
Please contact DSAAcademy@dgs.ca.gov should you have any questions or issues with the DSA Academy website

New DSA Box Web Experience Coming Soon

Division of the State ArchitectNew DSA Box Web Experience Coming Soon

 

 

Please be informed that as of September 8, 2017, all DSA Box users will be converted to a new Box web design meant to improve navigation. Until then, DSA Box users can voluntarily opt into the new web design. Users are highly encouraged to use this opportunity to try out the new design.
 
To activate the new experience, log into Box.com and then click on this Activation Link. The suggested web browser for use of Box.com is Google Chrome.
 
The new design comes with added functionality, including:

  • The ability to exclude folders from your landing page on Box.com.
  • Improved search.
  • Sidebar to view advanced info.
  • Support for multi-select & keyboard shortcuts.

Click here for a Full Inventory of Changes and check out Box’s online Help Forum for answers to general questions.

Users may also use the following links as a guide:

For questions and more information, contact the Document Analyst in the associated regional office for the project in question:

LA County’s Contracting Connections

Date: Aug. 11, 2017
TO: Los Angeles County area vendors
RE: You’re prequalified to certify and compete on nearly $1 billion in Los Angeles County contracts!

You’ve certified with the state of California as a small business. Now diversify your clientele and sell your goods and services to Los Angeles County!
 
Did you know that by 2020, Los Angeles County has a goal to award 25 percent of contracts to Local Small Business Enterprises (LSBEs) and three percent of contracts to Disabled Veteran Business Enterprises (DVBEs)?
 
The Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs is here to connect you to these bidding opportunities through the Contracting Connections program.
 
Los Angeles County certified LSBEs enjoy the following benefits:
 

  • 15 percent bid price preference when bidding on certain goods and services.
  • Payment in 15 days or less.
  • Listing on the county’s exclusive directory of certified businesses.
  • Access to small business advocates in each county department.
  • Networking events.
  • And more!

Want to find out if you sell what Los Angeles County buys? Join us Thursday, Aug. 24 at Bob Hope Patriotic Hall for our next Contracting Connections event. RSVP here.

For more information on the Contracting Connections program, contact the Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs’ Small Business Services unit at (323) 881-3964 or 1-855-230-6430

Announcing the Project Type, Locations and New Check-In Times for the October 2017 CASp Exam

Division of the State ArchitectAnnouncing the Project Type, Locations and New Check-In Times for the October 2017 CASp Exam

Registration is now open for the next Certified Access Specialist (CASp) examination. 

October 11, 2017 – Open and Closed Book

  • Locations:  Oakland and Anaheim
  • Registration closes: September 11, 2017
  • Cost: $400 for each exam portion

The project type for the Open Book portion of the October CASp examination is a Title II Customer Service Center. A List of Reference Materials is available.

New check-in times! Check-in time for this and future exams is now 8:30 a.m.for the open book portion and 1:30 p.m. for the closed book portion. More information about the examination process is available on the CASp Program Web Page in the “Certified Access Specialists & Examination Candidates” section.

Register through the CASp Account Login site. You must have an approved application prior to registering. Registration closes one month prior to the examination date or when the exam reaches the maximum capacity seating, whichever occurs first. Information for the exams is listed online in the CASp examination schedule

Individuals with CASp certification are in high demand by clients seeking to ensure their facilities comply with applicable construction-related accessibility standards, including the California Building Code and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Obtaining CASp certification provides you with an opportunity to increase your business, enhances the services you provide to your local community, and helps distinguish your qualifications from those of your peers.

Please direct any registration questions to the CASp certification team at (916) 323-2737 or CASprogram@dgs.ca.gov. You may direct any questions about services provided by a CASp to (916) 327-5410.

DSA’s New Project Submittal Appointment Process Starts Today!

Division of the State ArchitectDSA’s New Project Submittal Appointment Process Starts Today!

The Division of the State Architect’s (DSA’s) new project submittal appointment process is effective today. Clients now schedule project submittal dates six to eight weeks in advance of delivering project plans to DSA.
 
To schedule a project submittal date, complete the new and required form DSA 1-REG: Registration for Project Submittal six to eight weeks in advance. DSA will begin plan review within five working days of the scheduled project submittal date.
 
Through September 11, 2017, you may request to be notified in the event that an earlier appointment becomes available. Contact your DSA Regional Office if there is an urgent need to expedite a project.
 
Procedures for the new process are outlined in PR 17-03: Project Submittal Appointment Process. This document also provides links to the new, required project registration form (DSA 1-REG) and the revised DSA 1 application form. The project submittal checklist (DSA 3) is in the process of being revised.
 
Thank you for your ongoing patience as we implement this change to enhance the quality of submitted plans and significantly reduce the overall time spent on plan review, helping you to reduce costly project delays.

The State Architect’s Corner – Increasing Efficiency

Division of the State ArchitectThe State Architect’s Corner – Increasing Efficiency

In the previous edition of The State Architect’s Corner I hinted that in our ongoing effort to better serve school districts and community colleges, we would be addressing “bin time,” the period in which complete plan submittals must wait before being reviewed.

Although I am extremely pleased with the work of our staff to decrease this amount of time from an average of six to four weeks, I have always believed there is room to further reduce—if not altogether eliminate—bin time. And we have. I am pleased to inform you that “bin time” has been eliminated with the implementation of a much more efficient approach: The Project Submittal Appointment Process, which will take effect July 31, 2017.

Beginning July 31, clients will schedule project submittal dates six to eight weeks in advance of delivering project plans to the Division of the State Architect (DSA). The new appointment process allows design professionals to work on the project right up until the time of submission, thereby allowing for changes in scope and further refinement of the construction documents. Plans will no longer sit idle while waiting for DSA plan reviewer availability. I believe the scheduling system will also enhance the quality of submitted plans and significantly reduce the overall time spent on plan review.

With this change, DSA is once again demonstrating to our clients that we understand the importance of increasing the efficiency of project delivery and are committed to helping reduce delays and resulting cost increases due to inflation. Of course, most changes come with some growing pains. Although I wish it were not the case, I expect that we may encounter some minor implementation challenges as DSA staff and clients adjust to the process change. And I want to thank you in advance for your patience as we continue to implement improvements for our mutual benefit. When we implemented the DSA inspection card in 2013, the change may have seemed daunting to some. Yet the results of the inspection card speak for themselves—project certification rates rose from only 69 percent to almost 95 percent today. Similarly, I strongly believe that the positive outcomes of the appointment process will speak for themselves.

Further demonstrating our commitment to increase our efficiency, while meeting both the Governor’s Office’s and Department of General Services’ sustainable policies and goals by reducing the resource-intensive printing of construction documents submitted on paper, is the implementation of an Electronic Plan Review (EPR). Complimentary to our Electronic Back Check (EBC) process, which provides a method for electronic back check submission, review and approval of project documents, EPR is, at this time, a voluntary process for the electronic submission of plans for projects with an estimated construction cost of $1,000,000 or less. However, for projects with an estimated construction cost over $1,000,000 desiring EPR and/or EBC, you may contact the regional office structural supervisor for determination on a project-by-project basis if EPR/EBC is allowed based on office workload. I hope you share my enthusiasm for how these changes to how we do business will simplify how our clients do business, and for the efficiencies gained by all along the way.
Chester A. Widom, FAIA
State Architect

Digital Signature of State Architect, Chester A. Widom, FAIA

Solar Panel Structure Safety Concern

Solar Panel Structure Safety Concern

As State Architect, it is my responsibility to advise you of a situation that, although apparently isolated, may impact the safety of the solar structures on your campuses. On three occasions this year, solar panels at three school campuses dislodged from the structures to which they were attached, during winds that were recorded as moderate for the region. In each case, the structures were free-standing, open-framed, steel structures over parking lots. There were no injuries, and these are the only such incidents of which the Division of the State Architect (DSA) is aware.

Based on the limited information obtained, we believe there are several factors possibly contributing to these attachment failures:

  • Advancements in solar glass panel design have resulted in thinner, higher performing, lightweight photovoltaic glass panels. Structural racking and twisting (rotation) loads caused by wind gusts resulted in deformation of the panel frame, allowing the glass panel to separate from the panel frame. 
  • Free-standing, open-framed, steel structures over parking lots are deflecting under certain wind loads, causing them to place structural loading on the solar panel frames, the friction clip, and bolted connections, which they were not designed to accommodate.

Additionally, while the exact cause(s) of the separations are inconclusive, variations in installation methods, inspection, and maintenance must be considered. Therefore, in the interest of safety, I strongly recommend you contact the entity responsible for the installation of any solar panels on your campus, mounted on free-standing, open-framed, steel structures, to inspect them for signs of potential panel dislodgement. This inspection may be covered under either your warranty or maintenance agreement. If you do not have a warranty or maintenance agreement, you should consult a solar panel maintenance provider to inspect them for signs of potential panel dislodgement. I also encourage regular maintenance inspections thereafter. Should retrofit be required, please do not hesitate to contact a structural supervisor at your DSA regional office if you have any questions. 

For our part, I have directed DSA staff to work with the entities involved in the manufacture, design, and installation of the solar panels to determine the probable cause of the attachment failures for projects already constructed, and for those entities to develop methods to retrofit existing installations when necessary for DSA approval. To prevent additional incidents, we are reviewing attachment requirements for projects under construction, projects approved but not yet constructed, and projects in design. Additionally, we are sending letters to those involved in the manufacture, design, and installation of the solar panels, notifying them of this matter and asking that they inform their colleagues as well. For your reference, please refer to the recommendations for panel attachment to the structure for projects pending DSA’s approval.

We bring this to your attention out of an abundance of caution, as the three dislodgement incidents—out of thousands of panel installations—are the only ones of which we are aware, but we believe the issue presents a concern that merits your attention.

DSA Academy – September Accessibility Classes

Division of the State ArchitectDSA Academy – September Accessibility Classes

 

We are pleased to announce the September DSA Academy accessibility classes! For more information about the class, learning objectives, and to register, click on the class title below. Additional dates and locations for 2017 DSA Academy classes are also posted online.
 
ACCESSIBILITY
We offer a multi-class discount (buy three, get one free) on the accessibility classes if you take the classes as a set. Sign up for three classes and then send an email to DSAAcademy@dgs.ca.gov to be signed up for the free class.

More detailed registration information and instructions are available on the DSA Academy Registration Information webpage.

Please contact DSAAcademy@dgs.ca.gov should you have any questions or issues with the DSA Academy website