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What is DSA Certification?

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what is dsa certification

The Division of the State Architect (DSA) provides certification for projects in the state of California. This certification can exhibit your ability to comply with industry standards and show support and commitment to your community. California projects with this certification uphold safety standards and similar regulations and codes.

USA SHADE is proud to be the first in our industry to obtain DSA approval for our projects. Our shade structures offer versatility and protection for people and equipment to create a more comfortable and welcoming space.

This guide provides information about DSA certification and how it can benefit your business or school. Explore our DSA-approved shade structures and how they can transform your space for teachers, staff members, parents and students.

What Is a DSA Certification?

The Division of the State Architect provides oversight for project construction and design for state-owned and leased facilities, including community colleges and K-12 schools. This organization develops structural safety, historical and accessibility building codes throughout California.

A DSA project certification details a project’s compliance with regulations and codes during construction. A company can achieve project certification after highlighting a project’s ability to comply with safety procedures during design and construction.

What Does DSA Certification Mean?

California DSA requirements ensure buildings in the state minimize fire hazards, resist natural occurrences like earthquakes and resist gravity forces. These regulations apply to multiple project processes, including the construction, reconstruction, addition or alteration of service buildings.

If a designer wants to use innovative techniques that are not within the regulations, they must submit approval and review information, including test data, recommendations and computations about the design method. The DSA will need to review this information and feel satisfied with the degrees of safety in the process. They must decide that they meet the necessary safety standards for certification.

After project completion, the DSA will collaborate with the construction and design team to finalize documentation and certification requirements. After examining the project, the DSA will issue a Notification of Requirements for Certification.

The DSA Certification Process

General certification begins when a building is ready for occupancy or in use. The DSA will then examine the project file, verified reports and construction documents. These documents include agendas, revisions, deferred submittals and construction change documents. There will also be mandatory fees to pay before the building receives a notice of completion.

If the DSA determines that a project is not certified, it will create a document that details the reason for withholding the certification. The owner of the district will have 60 days to resolve the issues and can request for the DSA to re-examine their files and project.

What Are the Benefits of a DSA Certification?

Obtaining a DSA certification has a variety of benefits. This certification highlights your building’s ability to follow safety protocols and design a building that welcomes your community. With this certification, you can distinguish your business or school as one that possesses core competencies and remains dedicated to integrity and recognition.

Other benefits of DSA certification include:

  • Enhance your professional image: DSA certification identifies your business or school as safe and professional. Show your community that you are committed to them by achieving this certification and remaining within industry standards.
  • Provide confidence: Obtaining a DSA certification takes time and showcases your school’s patience and compliance with industry standards. This can help guests and clients feel more confident about your abilities and services.
  • Offer superior protection: Projects with DSA certification show their ability to resist natural occurrences and protect people in the event of a disaster or accident. They also provide accessibility to welcome more people.
  • Reduce risks of technical failure: DSA certification highlights your school’s ability to follow safety codes and regulations.

Work With USA SHADE for a DSA-Approved Structure

USA SHADE creates custom and unique shade structures that can enhance your building while offering superior safety and protection. Shade is essential for outdoor school areas, like playgrounds and walkways. Students in California spend a lot of time outside to learn, play, practice and eat. With USA SHADE, you can create the environment your students need while feeling confident about your shade structures with DSA approval.

Leaders in the DSA Shade Structure Industry

USA SHADE is a leader in the shade structure manufacturing industry. We have decades of experience working with California businesses, municipalities and schools to design and install custom shade structures across the state. We were the first fabric structure manufacturer and designer in California to receive approval from the DSA. We’ve pioneered the shade industry for the last two decades, and we can help your business or school find the best project for your requirements with a custom design.

Our shade structures provide ultimate protection and shade while enhancing visual appeal. Our DSA-approved shade structures come in various sizes and shapes so you can access functional solutions for eating areas, multi-purpose facilities, playgrounds, outdoor learning centers, walkways and more.

We’re a complete design and build company that creates custom DSA solutions. Our Architectural Specialists and Regional Managers are always ready to help clients throughout the entire process. From conceptual design to final installation, we work with you every step of the way. Our long-time success with custom shapes and fabrics results in function and beauty in each shade structure.

Benefits of Working With USA SHADE

Our decades of experience give us a unique edge in the industry. Schools and businesses across California benefit from our high-quality materials, custom designs and DSA approval. At USA SHADE, we are:

dsa project certification

  • Responsive: Our knowledgeable local reps across the state can provide information about the regulations and rules.
  • Local: We have offices in Orange County and Napa to serve you in Southern or Northern California.
  • Durable: We use quality materials to complete each project so they can last for years with minimal maintenance.
  • Full-service: Our Architectural Specialist Division provides services and support for customized solutions.
  • Certified: Our DSA certification offers the assurance of quality and safety you need for your building.

USA SHADE Projects in California

At USA SHADE, we understand the importance of certification. We’re proud of our commitment to safety and innovation. Explore some of the projects we’ve completed throughout California to see how we prioritize students and schools through innovative shade structures.

Earl Warren Middle School

USA SHADE created a custom solution for Earl Warren Middle School. These students get to enjoy some of our latest and most customized structures. The project includes custom two-post, 4-point sails and a conical structure. Surrounding the conical structure are three Orion structures, with an Aquarius structure just steps away. The steel and fabric colors blend with the school’s design to create a cohesive look.

Campbell School of Innovation

We created an innovative solution for Campbell School of Innovation. This unique school emphasizes its focus on the students, which is apparent through the utilization of our shade structures. From the beginning of the initial design phase, USA SHADE collaborated with Campbell School of Innovation to find a solution they would love. The final result was multiple 4-point sail structures to cover various outdoor play and learning spaces across their campus.

La Entrada Elementary School

La Entrada Elementary School asked their architect and school district to collaborate with our Architectural Specialist Division for this project. The final result was one of the most unique projects we’ve completed. We softened the structure’s straight lines and right angles with 4-point sails. We also integrated mounting tabs to allow their woodwork contractor to attach horizontal sails. We rounded the project’s features with integrated LED lights.

Beardslee Academy

Taking breaks outside is important for students and teachers, and Beardslee Academy collaborated with USA SHADE to find the best solution. They placed three single-post pyramids in their recess area so teachers and students could escape the sun during play times. With a variety of sizes available, these structures are perfect for creating small or large shade areas to accommodate large group play or small gatherings.

Cucamonga Elementary School

Our project with Cucamonga Elementary School shows innovation on the playground. These shade structures are located in the interior courtyard play area. The project consisted of six single-post pyramid structures to make recess and relaxation times more comfortable for everyone during warm and sunny days.

Anaheim High School

In high school, there are many times when students and instructors may be outside. Classes, study periods and lunch can be more enjoyable under the shade. Anaheim High School requested an innovative look to update its aesthetic and provide a competitive edge. This structure protects tables and other equipment and allows people to gather to talk, study or eat during and outside school hours.

Buchanan High School

Shade structures can showcase a school’s style. Buchanan High School chose a shade structure design that earns high marks in the community. Our team assisted Buchanan High School in finding a unique look that creates a comfortable space. The sharp angles and beautiful fabric colors blend well with the school for a cohesive look.

Decker Elementary School

Decker Elementary School used our shade structures to create a comfortable walkway for students as they navigate their classes and free time. Overlapping fabrics with square or rectangular designs give these shade structures a modern, unique aesthetic appeal.

Corona Del Mar High School

Students often spend a lot of time in the courtyard walking between classes, studying, meeting with friends, eating lunch and more. Hot days in California can cause students to seek shelter indoors instead. Corona Del Mar High School collaborated with USA SHADE to provide the ultimate courtyard shade so everyone can enjoy being outside.

California Shade Structures

Shade structure on a college campus

Every school has unique needs and goals, and there is no single shade structure that will be the answer for every academic facility. USA SHADE offers customized solutions to meet the requirements and vision of every client.

California schools can experience hot days that make it challenging to remain focused and enjoy the day. Our vast product selection empowers school administrators and architects to find the best solution. With DSA approval, you can feel confident that you’re choosing innovative protection for everyone at your school.

Explore more information about some of our shade structures to get inspired.

Pyramid Shade Structures

Pyramid shade structures are great for schools looking to cover large areas. Outdoor play areas and eating spaces can become much more comfortable with this clean design with a peaked roof. Schools can also join multiple pyramids to create a larger space to suit specific needs. Customize the structures with your colors or name to add school spirit.

Sail Structures

Sail structures are excellent for schools that want to stand out. These options feature an innovative design for a modern look. We offer a variety of column heights so you can get creative. Use smaller structures to make a play area for smaller children while using larger pyramids to create family-friendly spaces for events and large group gatherings.

Single-Post Pyramid Structures

Single-post pyramid structures can provide nearly 400 square feet of shade. You can cover outdoor learning centers and picnic areas for students to eat and learn in comfort.

Specialty Shade Structures

Specialty shade structures allow you to get even more creative on school property. Options like Pegasus combine art and function to form a beautiful structure that provides shade and turns heads. A cantilever disc offers a circle of shade and protection with a sleek column and circular fabric shade. For a fun twist on the playground, your school can use flower petal shade structures to add fun and visual interest.

Get a Quote From USA SHADE Today

At USA SHADE, we understand the importance of DSA certification. Each of our shade structures shows our care and dedication to safety and protection. We have years of experience designing unique concepts that uphold the highest level of value and integrity.

USA SHADE is the shade structure premier innovator in North America. We’ve been a long-standing leader in the industry for decades, and we continue to craft unique designs for commercial shade solutions. Our experienced shade professionals design, engineer, manufacture and install our shade structures, and we’re ready to assist clients from the conceptual design to the final implementation. Our expert team, experience and innovation — paired with our DSA certification — make us the go-to choice in the industry.

Our team has completed a variety of unique shade structure projects in California and beyond while collaborating with the top landscape architecture, design, build and construction firms. Our clients know they can count on us because we bring experience and knowledge to every project. Request a quote for innovative, DSA-approved shade solutions today.