Guidelines for Performance- Based Seismic Design of Tall Buildings, PEER Report 2010-05


These Guidelines for Performance-Based Seismic Design of Tall Buildings present a recommended alternative to the prescriptive procedures for seismic design of buildings contained in standards such as ASCE 7 and the International Building Code (IBC). They are intended primarily for use by structural engineers and building officials engaged in the seismic design and review of individual tall buildings. Properly executed, the Guidelines are intended to result in buildings that are capable of achieving the seismic performance objectives for Occupancy Category II buildings intended by ASCE 7. Alternatively, individual users may adapt and modify these Guidelines to serve as the basis for designs intended to achieve higher seismic performance objectives.

The Guidelines were developed considering the seismic response characteristics of tall buildings, including relatively long fundamental vibration period, significant mass participation and lateral response in higher modes of vibration, and a relatively slender profile. Although the underlying principles are generally applicable, the Guidelines were developed considering seismic hazard typical in the Western United States. Furthermore, the Guidelines are written to apply to structures intended to resist strong earthquake motion through inelastic response of their structural components. Modifications to the Guidelines may be required to make them applicable to other structural types or to regions with different seismic hazard characteristics.

The Guidelines include the seismic design of structural elements normally assigned as part of the seismic-force-resisting system as well as structural elements whose primary function is to support gravity loads. Except for exterior cladding, design of nonstructural components is not specifically included within the Guidelines. Design for nonstructural systems should conform to the applicable requirements of the Building Code or other suitable alternatives that consider the unique response characteristics of tall building structures.

The organization of the Guidelines is as follows. The first three chapters introduce the scope, target performance objectives, and intended proper use of the procedures contained in the Guidelines. Chapter 4 describes documentation that normally should accompany a design conducted according to the Guidelines. Chapter 5 describes seismic input to be considered for the building design. Chapters 6 through 8 present detailed guidance for preliminary design, design for serviceability, and design for maximum considered earthquake effects. Chapters 9 and 10 outline recommended procedures for presentation of design results and project review, including use of a seismic structural peer review panel.

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Publication date: 
November 1, 2010
Publication type: 
Technical Report
(2010). Guidelines for Performance- Based Seismic Design of Tall Buildings, PEER Report 2010-05. Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center, University of California, Berkeley, CA.