ATC-58 Project Overview: Development of Next-Generation Guidelines for Performance-Based Seismic Design of Buildings

April 29, 2006
Publication: Proceedings of the 8th U.S. National Conference on Earthquake Engineering, April 18-22, 2006, San Francisco, California, USA (8NCEE) Paper # 2156
Author(s): Ronald Hamburger

Abstract: Design procedures for seismic resistance contained in building codes are intended to enable buildings to provide acceptable levels of performance in earthquakes, but the procedures are not truly performance-based. These procedures attempt to attain desired performance through specification of minimum acceptable levels of stiffness and strength, control of the detailing of structural elements and their connections, so as to provide adequate ductility, and control of the configuration of buildings, so as to promote favorable dynamic response characteristics and avoid the premature formation of mechanisms and other instabilities. While it is generally understood the performance intent of these procedures is to protect life safety, and, for some critical structures to minimize potential for earthquake-induced damage and occupancy interruption, the level of protection provided is only qualitatively stated. The procedures themselves have been developed in an iterative process based on simple observation of unacceptable performance in actual earthquakes, and based on laboratory and analytical research. Buildings designed using these procedures have diverse performance capability. Most will be able to fulfill the basic code intent of protecting life safety while others will not. Often, buildings design in accordance with code requirements experience extensive damage in moderate level earthquake shaking resulting in extensive economic loss.