After reviewing more than 100 design concepts from architects, design firms, students, health care companies, and engineering and construction firms from throughout the U.S. and the world, Kaiser Permanente says judges have picked nine finalists in its �Small Hospital, Big Idea� competition.

Launched in February, the open design competition called for ideas for a small, eco-conscious, patient- and family-friendly hospital that would foster the collaboration and use of emerging medical technology that is central to care at Kaiser Permanente.

The nine finalists are: Aditazz; Ellerbe Becket; Gresham, Smith and Partners; HGA; Lee, Burkhart, Liu; Mazzetti Nash Lipsey Burch; Perkins+Will; SmithGroup; and Iceland-based TBL architects.

Judges include Clemson University architecture professor David Allison; Charles Siconolfi, director of health care planning and design for HOK; and Jeffrey D. Selberg, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement; along with leading Kaiser Permanente physicians, nurses, and architects.

Designs are judged on such criteria as innovation, reduction of life cycle costs, incorporates ways to improve health care, flexibility, efficiency and environment of care.

The short-listed firms will be invited to present their concepts to a design jury May 25-26 in San Diego.  

The jury will select from the shortlist up to three finalists that will receive compensation of up to $750,000 to develop their concepts further. Finalists will be announced May 31, when Stage 2 of the competition begins. The final winner will be announced Nov. 4, and will be eligible to enter into a contract with Kaiser Permanente for the small hospital project.