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Evaluation of Contemporary Design of Reinforced Concrete Lateral Resisting Systems using Current Performance Based Assessment Criteria



Travis Welt


Seismic design and assessment methods for structures vary in approach. This pilot investigation thoroughly examines the correlation between ASCE/SEI 7‐10, Minimum Design Loads on Buildings and Other Structures, design methods and ASCE/SEI 41‐06, Seismic Rehabilitation of Existing Buildings, assessment methods. The project focuses on reinforced concrete buildings composed of Special Reinforced Concrete Moment Resisting Frames and Special Reinforced Concrete Shear Walls . A primary goal of this pilot project is to identify typical inconsistencies or modeling issues for a single building, to provide a guide for the larger and more comprehensive parent investigation. A full seismic design of an archetype structure, using ASCE/SEI 7‐10 is completed using both the Equivalent Lateral Force method (for drift) and the Modal Response Spectrum Analysis method (for strength). Assessment methods in ASCE/SEI 41‐06 include linear and nonlinear procedures. Linear procedures model components as perfectly elastic, while approximating nonlinear stress‐strain behavior through the use of global stiffness reduction factors. Typically, these methods provide conservative but simple approximations of component behavior. Nonlinear methods incorporate the use of stress‐strain relationships beyond the elastic limit, capturing more accurately the nonlinear behavior of a material. Although not exact, this approximation typically provides a more accurate representation of overall system behavior. Using these linear and nonlinear methods prescribed in ASCE/SEI 41‐06, the archetype structure was found to exhibit a large number of component failures, both in flexure and shear. Linear methods, static and dynamic, yielded the highest percentage of failures, indicating notable inconsistencies between design and assessment methods. Additionally, analysis using nonlinear dynamic analysis, based on ASCE/SEI 41‐06 parameters, results in a 50% collapse rate, with respect to time history records, at the
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 7766
Report Number


Welt, T. (2010), Evaluation of Contemporary Design of Reinforced Concrete Lateral Resisting Systems using Current Performance Based Assessment Criteria, NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed June 12, 2024)


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Created August 31, 2010, Updated November 10, 2018