Table of Contents:

  1. What is a DSA approved canopy?
  2. Who needs A DSA approved canopy?
  3. DSA Jurisdiction
  4. What is the process to get a DSA approved canopy installed?
  5. Benefits of a DSA approved canopy?
  6. Final thoughts from Custom Canopies


1. What is a DSA approved Canopy?

Division of State Architect (DSA) “provides design and construction oversight for K-12 schools, community colleges, and various other state-owned and leased facilities to ensure that they comply with all structural, accessibility and fire life safety codes.”

  • DSA also develops accessibility, structural safety, and historical building codes and standards utilized in various public and private buildings throughout the state of California. Various groups were established to work with DSA on these projects.
  • DSA is also charged with administering certification programs for project inspectors, materials testing laboratories, and certified access specialists.
  • DSA is headquartered in Sacramento with regional offices in Oakland, Sacramento, Los Angeles, and San Diego.


2. Who needs a DSA approved canopy?

Any California K-12 schools, community colleges and other state owned or leased facilities must comply with the DSA codes. This means that any building permanent structure on or around these grounds must be put through the DSA process below.


3. DSA Jurisdiction

All construction must be inspected and approved by DSA. However there are exceptions. A permanent canopy or shade sail structure must be inspected at a school or government facility in California and does not fall within one of these exceptions. This means that any canopy or shade structure must be brought up to code and inspected prior to instillation and signing off of the structure. The structure must also be fully inspected and cleared during instillation and once fully installed.


4. What is the process to get a DSA approved canopy installed?

The basics on getting a DSA (Division of State Architect) canopy installed at a school location in California. Once it is determined that a shade canopy is needed at a school site the following process needs to be implemented.

  1. School district must be informed with regards to the installation of the shade canopy if a PTA or other entity will be purchasing the DSA canopy.
  2. An architect will be hired to do site drawings and submittal to DSA. An architect already working with the school district would be the best as they are knowledgeable on all the school premises.
  3. The architect will submit site drawings to the DSA local office. This will include a PC approved canopy drawing (This is a pre-approved canopy drawing with the DSA) with site drawing.
  4. On approval of the project by DSA the shade canopy will be ordered, and a welding inspector will be required to oversee the project at the manufacturing plant. (Hired by school district)
  5. Once the canopy has been manufactured and signed off by the welding inspector the canopy will ship to the school site.
  6. The installation of the canopy on the school site will involve a site inspector or IOR (inspector of record) who will oversee all aspects of the installation.
  7. Once the canopy installation has been completed and cleared by the IOR there will be some final forms that will have to be submitted to DSA.

See     https://www.dgs.ca.gov/DSA for main DSA page.

https://www.dgs.ca.gov/DSA/Resources/Page-Content/Resources-List-Folder/Construction-Project-Submittal-For-Schools-Essential-Services-Facilities  for submittal process page


5. Final Thoughts from Custom Canopies

Custom Canopies are experts at installing and guiding our customers through the DSA design, inspection, and approvals. Custom Canopies has an in-house team of trained engineers, designers and professionals that guide the project through the various stages of approval. All structures are built with significant safety standards ensuring that the structures we install are always up to code. Navigating the DSA process is a simple task for us, contact us today to get the quotation started on your DSA approved shade solution.