Earthquake Engineering and Engineering Vibration

, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 223–236 | Cite as

A simplified methd of evaluating the seismic performance of buildings



This paper presents a simplified method of evaluating the seismic performance of buildings. The proposed method is based on the transformation of a multiple degree of freedom (MDOF) system to an equivalent single degree of freedom (SDOF) system using a simple and intuitive process. The proposed method is intended for evaluating the seismic performance of the buildings at the intermediate stages in design, while a rigorous method would be applied to the final design. The performance of the method is evaluated using a series of buildings which are assumed to be located in Victoria in western Canada, and designed based on the upcoming version of the National Building Code of Canada which is due to be published in 2005. To resist lateral loads, some of these buildings contain reinforced concrete moment resisting frames, while others contain reinforced concrete shear walls. Each building model has been subjected to a set of site-specific seismic spectrum compatible ground motion records, and the response has been determined using the proposed method and the general method for MDOF systems. The results from the study indicate that the proposed method can serve as a useful tool for evaluation of seismic performance of buildings, and carrying out performance based design.


seismic hazard modal analysis static pushover analysis dynamic time history analysis performance-based design 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Adams J, Weichert D, Halchuk S and Basham P (1999), “Seismic Hazard Maps of Canada,”Geological Survey of Canada, Open File 3724.Google Scholar
  2. Atkinson GM and Beresnev IA (1998), “Compatible Ground Motion Time-histories for New National Hazard Maps,”Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering,25: 305–318.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bagchi A (1999), “Seismic Performance of Buildings Designed to National Building Code of Canada,”8th Canadian Conference on Earthquake Engineering, Vancouver, B.C., Canada, pp.487–494.Google Scholar
  4. Bagchi A (2001), “Evaluation of the Seismic Performance of Reinforced Concrete Buildings,”Ph.D. Thesis, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.Google Scholar
  5. Building Seismic Safety Council (BSSC) (1997), “Recommended Provisions for Seismic Regulations for New Buildings and Commentary,”National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP), Federal Emergency Management Agency, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  6. Chopra A and Goel R (2001), “A Modal Pushover Analysis Procedure to Estimate Seismic Demands for Buildings: Theory and Preliminary Evaluation”,PEER Report #2001/03, Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Centre, Berkeley, USA.Google Scholar
  7. Fajfar P and Gaspersic P (1996), “The N2 Method for the Seismic Damage Analysis of RC Buildings,”Earthquake Engineering and Structural Dynamics,25: 31–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Ghobarah A, Aly NM, and El-Attar M (1997), “Performance Level Criteria Evaluation,”Seismic Design Methodologies for the Next Generation of Codes, edited by Fajfar and Krawinkler, pp.207–215.Google Scholar
  9. Humar JL (2000), “Future Directions of Seismic Design Provisions,”Short Course on Earthquake Resistant Design of Buildings, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada.Google Scholar
  10. Humar JL and Bagchi A (2000), “Seismic Level of Protection in Shear Wall Frame Structures Designed According to National Building Code of Canada,”28th Annual Conference of Canadian Society for Civil Engineering, London, Ontario, Canada, pp. 161–168.Google Scholar
  11. Humar JL and Mahgoub MA (2000), “Accounting for Higher Modes in UHS-based Design,” Discussion paper,Canadian National Committee on Earthquake Engineering (CANCEE).Google Scholar
  12. Humar JL and Rahgozar MA (2000), “Application of Uniform Hazard Spectra in Seismic Design of Multi-story Buildings,”Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering,27: 563–580.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Mazzolani FM and Piluso V (1997), “A Simple Approach for Evaluating Performance Levels of Moment-resisting Steel Frames,”Seismic Design Methodologies for the Next Generation of Codes, edited by Fajfar and Krawinkler, pp.241–251.Google Scholar
  14. National Research Council of Canada (NRC) (1995),National Building Code of Canada (NBCC), Ottawa, Ontario.Google Scholar
  15. Park YJ and Ang AHS (1985), “Mechanistic Seismic Damage Model for Reinforced Concrete,”Journal of Structural Engineering, ASCE,111: 722–739.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Prakash V, Powell GH and Campbell S (1993), “DRAIN-2DX Base Program Description and User Guide: Version 1.10,” Report No. UCB/SEMM-93/17, Deparment of Civil Engineering, University of California, Berkeley.Google Scholar
  17. Stafford-Smith B (1966), “Behaviour of Square Infilled Frames,”Journal of the Structural Engineering Division, ASCE,91, (ST1): 381–403.Google Scholar
  18. Vision 2000 Committee (1995),Performance Based Seismic Engineering of Buildings, Structural Engineers Association of California (SEAOC), Sacramento, California.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Institute of Engineering Mechanics, China Earthquake Administration 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BuildingCivil and Environmental Engineering Concordia UniversityMontrealCanada

Personalised recommendations