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from CalGreen Energy Services

CalGreen and DSA

CalGreen and DSA

DSA and Calgreen

DSA has updated their requirements for CalGreen as of January 28, 2020. 

DSA  has published their own version of the CalGreen Checklist. This document is called “GL-4  Project Submittal Guideline: CalGreen Code.” The Guideline includes both Mandatory and Voluntary Measures. The GL-4 document notes the specific requirements for school projects. It also explains why certain CalGreen requirements are not required.

Interestingly, DSA notes that they have not adopted the CalGreen Code commissioning requirements, they are still required by the California Energy Code. This is an on-going point of confusion as both codes require commissioning on buildings over 10,000 square feet. However the requirements are not coordinated between the two codes.  

You can view the updated 2020 DSA GL-4 Project Submittal Guideline here: GL-4_ Project Submittal Guideline_ CALGreen Code


DSA CalGreen Submittal Guidelines

Projects submitted to DSA for review, as a single project or as increments, must comply with the Title 24, Part 11, California Green Building Standards Code (CALGreen).

A properly filled out 2020 GL-4 form must be submitted along with the design drawings for DSA review. 


The CalGreen Permitting and Construction Process

for SchoolsCalGreen for Schools

If you are considering your first project requiring DSA approval, you are in for a steep learning curve. Due to the very real concern over earthquakes, and other safety issues, the process is complex and the over-sight is intensive. All building components are scrutinized for structural integrity. Virtually all building systems require a structural engineer to design the anchorage and supports, no matter how small.

All aspects of the architectural, structural, electrical, mechanical, plumbing and civil designs receive scrutiny and inspections far beyond a private sector project. During construction, all changes, no matter how small, require DSA review and approval. Since the DSA approval process is quite slow, this can result in significant delays to the project completion. For these reasons a successful project will be submitted as a very complete package.

So How Does CalGreen and DSA Differ from the Private Sector?DSA - Division of the State Architect

The California Green Building Standards Code (aka CalGreen) applies to all building projects. It is an unfortunate, and confusing, aspect to this code that nearly every jurisdiction publishes their own version of the CalGreen Checklist. DSA is no different in this respect. They, too, have published their own version of the Checklist which is included in the GL-4 form linked below.

As with private sector projects, you will need a CalGreen Special Inspector for your DSA project. Unlike some private sector projects it is critical to have a CalGreen specialist on your team. A CalGreen specialist can ensure your permit submittal is thorough and complete. This can avoid costly changes and delays during the construction process.

At CalGreen Energy Services we are specialists in CalGreen and DSA projects. We are intimately familiar with the DSA design, review and construction process. We can educate and guide your team to ensure that the CalGreen process is smooth and transparent. We will work directly with DSA to resolve any issues during the permit and construction process.

While the DSA construction process can be onerous, your CalGreen submittal need not be.

Call us today and let us show you how we can help with your school project.

Gary Welch


Phone: 707-328-5299

CalGreen Energy Services

Some helpful links to learn more about the DSA permit and construction process:







CalGreen Compliance and California Schools

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