Case Study

Challenged Athletes Foundation

Deni & Jeff Jacobs Challenged Athletes Foundation Center

The Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) is based in San Diego, California, but it makes an impact around the world. The foundation’s goal is to provide physically challenged people with the tools they need to pursue healthy lifestyles, physical fitness, and competitive athletics. CAF’s efforts both enrich and inspire athletes, while at the same time raising awareness for the sponsoring needs that exist and facilitating fundraisers to meet those needs. With global partners like Nike and the YMCA, CAF is making a huge difference in the lives of challenged athletes throughout the United States and internationally.

The foundation recently completed a retrofit renovation to its office in the Mira Mesa commercial park, San Diego, and the Salas O’Brien team fulfilled the project’s unique mechanical, electrical, and plumbing design needs.

When planning the renovation, CAF prioritized accessibility as well as a welcoming atmosphere. The finished building features a creative façade, distinctive colors, and ample glass, giving it a feeling of openness and vibrancy. The center’s ceilings range from 20-foot exposed structure to 10-foot gypsum board, posing both practical and aesthetic challenges for the design team. Rising to the challenge, Salas O’Brien designed air distribution and lighting to match the décor of the project and provide maximum functionality. Our team also specially designed a control system to meet the client’s unique requirements.

The finished structure’s multi-purpose mixing chamber, Matrix Training Facility, and CAF Education Center allow the foundation to host onsite wheelchair basketball, stationary cycling, and other mobility clinics—as well as many other types of fitness support initiatives. The space empowers the foundation to reach the community in new and better ways, propelling the mission forward into the future.   


San Diego, California

Project Size:
13,650 Square Feet

Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing Design

Orchid Award for Adaptive Use (San Diego Architectural Foundation)