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Seismic Evaluation of a 2-Story Cold-Formed Steel Framed Building using ASCE 41-17



Matthew S. Speicher, Ivana Olivares, Benjamin W. Schafer


The objective of this report is to assess the adequacy of new provisions in ASCE 41 for seismic assessment of cold-formed steel framed buildings. A two-story cold-formed steel (CFS) framed building that has been designed to contemporary seismic standards (ASCE 7 and AISI S400) and tested on a shake table was selected as the archetype building for this study. Shake table tests of the CFS-framed building indicated only minimal damage at earthquake levels exceeding the ASCE 7 maximum considered earthquake. Further, previously conducted incremental dynamic analyses of the CFS-framed building indicated the ASCE 7 design led to acceptable collapse margin ratios, which equates to acceptable performance. Assessment of the selected CFS-framed building is performed per the linear procedure in ASCE 41. A retrofit design, and a new design, for the same CFS-framed building are also completed per ASCE 41. The ASCE 41 assessment indicates that the building is inadequate, despite the known good performance in experimental shaking and complementary nonlinear time history analyses. The ASCE 41 retrofit requires nearly a doubling in the strength of the shear walls and the remaining elements of the seismic force resisting system. It is shown that ASCE 41’s predicted demands for short period buildings, and its lack of a simple means to account for large system overstrength, are the two primary contributors to the overly-conservative predictions from the ASCE 41 provisions. These findings are intended to be used to improve future versions of ASCE 41, with a focus on CFS-framed building provisions.
Technical Note (NIST TN) - 2116
Report Number


earthquake engineering, performance-based design, seismic assessment, building codes, cold- formed steel


Speicher, M. , Olivares, I. and Schafer, B. (2020), Seismic Evaluation of a 2-Story Cold-Formed Steel Framed Building using ASCE 41-17, Technical Note (NIST TN), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed April 23, 2024)
Created September 28, 2020, Updated September 29, 2020