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CTBUH Technical Guides

Performance-Based Seismic
Design for Tall Buildings
An output of the CTBUH Performance-Based Seismic Design Working Group

Ramin Golesorkhi, Leonard Joseph, Ron Klemencic, David Shook & John Viise
Bibliographic Reference:
Golesorkhi, R., Joseph, L., Klemencic, R., Shook, D. & Viise, J. (2017). Performance-Based Seismic Design for Tall
Buildings: An output of the CTBUH Performance-Based Seismic Design Working Group. Chicago: Council on Tall
Buildings and Urban Habitat.

Principal Authors: Ramin Golesorkhi, Leonard Joseph, Ron Klemencic, David Shook & John Viise
Coordinating Editors: Jason Gabel & Benjamin Mandel
Layout: Kristen Dobbins & Annan Shehadi

© 2017 Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat

Printed in the USA

The right of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat to be identified as author of this work has been asserted
by them in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilized in any form or by any electronic,
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Trademark notice: Product or corporate names may be trademarks or registered trademarks, and are used only for
identification and explanation without intent to infringe.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

A catalog record has been requested for this book

ISBN 978-0-939493-56-2

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The information contained in this guide is for educational purposes and obtained by CTBUH from sources believed
to be reliable. However, neither CTBUH or its authors guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information
published herein, and neither CTBUH or its authors shall be responsible for any errors, omissions, or damages arising
out of the use of this information. This work is published with the understanding that CTBUH and its authors are
supplying information but are not attempting to render engineering or other professional services. The
recommendations should not be used to circumvent building codes or other municipal or governmental building
requirements. The recommendations are general in nature and may or may not be applicable to any particular
building or any specific circumstances.

Front Cover Image: Wilshire Grand, Los Angeles, under construction in 2015. © Gary Leonard/AC Martin
Opening Chapter Image: 350 Mission St., San Francisco, designed using PBSD principles. © Cesar Rubio
Principal Authors
Ramin Golesorkhi, Langan Engineering
Leonard Joseph, Thornton Thomasetti
Ron Klemencic, Magnusson Klemencic Associates
David Shook, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
John Viise, Thornton Thomasetti

Jeff Dragovich, Engineering Consultant Seattle
Neville John Mathias, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
Ian McFarlane, Magnusson Klemencic Associates
Jerome Tobolski, Thornton Thomasetti

Peer Review Panel

Ian Aiken, SIE Inc.
Xiaonian Duan, Foster + Partners
John Hooper, Magnusson Klemencic Associates
Andre Ly, Bouygues-Construction
Elena Mele, University of Naples
Elena Mola, ECSD
Roman Przepiorka, Arup
Rob Smith, Arup
John Tessem, DCI Engineers
Shah Vahdani, Applied Geodynamics, Inc.
Tom Xia, DCI Engineers
Reid Zimmerman, KPFF Consulting Engineers

About CTBUH Working Groups

CTBUH Working Groups report on specific aspects of the planning, design,
construction, and management of tall buildings. They are not standing
committees, but groups that form for a period of time, specifically around
a need or important topic in the industry, with the aim of disseminating
their findings through the publication of a technical guide.
See more on other CTBUH Working Groups at: workinggroups.ctbuh.org

Preface 7
Glossary and Abbreviations 8

1.0 Introduction 10

1.1  Overview of Performance-Based Seismic Design 13

1.2  Goals of PBSD 13
1.3  Historical Development of PBSD Provisions 13
1.4  Seismicity and Urban Growth 14
1.5  PBSD in Contrast with Traditional Methods 14
1.6  Performance Objectives and Seismic Demand 14
1.7  Seismic Performance Rating Systems 16
1.8  Procedure of PBSD 16
1.9  Peer Review 17
1.10  Appropriate Usage of PBSD 19

2.0 Site-Specific Seismic Hazard Assessment 20

2.1 Introduction 22
2.2  Developing Site-Specific Target Response Spectra 22
2.3  Range of Structural Periods For Consideration 23
2.4  Near-Fault Ground Motions 24
2.5 MCER- and Service-Level Earthquake (SLE) 24
2.6  Information Required from Structural Engineer 24
2.7  Time Series Record Selection and Development of 24
Site-Specific Time Series
2.8  Vertical Ground Motions 29

3.0 Design Using Linear Analysis 30

3.1  Modeling and Analysis 32
3.2  Acceptance Criteria 35

4.0 Verification of Response Under MCER Using NRHA 36

4.1  Modeling and Analysis 38
4.2  Acceptance Criteria 43

5.0 Basis of Design Example 46

5.1 General 48
5.2 Superstructure 48
5.3 Substructure 48
5.4  Foundation System 48
5.5  Code Analysis and Design Criteria 48
5.6  Structural Analysis and Design 49
5.7 Appendices 53

6.0 Performance-Based Seismic Design Examples 54

Design Example 1: Tall High-Occupancy Office Tower 56
Design Example 2: Supertall Mixed-Use Tower 70
Design Example 3: Tall Flat-Plate Office Tower 84
Design Example 4: Tall Residential Tower with Podium 96

7.0 Conclusion 108

References 112
About the CTBUH 114
About the Authors 115
CTBUH Organizational Members 116


In 2008, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) Seismic
Working Group authored the publication “Recommendations for the Seismic
Design of High-Rise Buildings." This document and subsequent working group
meetings established that a consensus of practitioners believe the process
of Performance-Based Seismic Design (PBSD) is often more appropriate than
prescriptive code-based approaches for the design of tall buildings in regions of
high seismicity. Given that 75% of the tallest buildings completed in 2016 were
constructed in seismic regions of the world where some form of non-prescriptive
design and analysis was necessary for building approval (The Skyscraper Center,
2016), it is apparent that publishing the design principles inherent to the PBSD
design process would be useful to an international audience. As a result, the
CTBUH Performance-Based Seismic Design (PBSD) Working Group was formed
with the goal of producing a publication to introduce PBSD principles to an
international audience and provide examples of its application.

Although the practice and protocol for non-prescriptive design is quite mature
in certain countries (e.g., China and Japan), the methods used for PBSD as
practiced in western regions of the United States are of high interest to other
countries. PBSD guidelines have been reconsidered based on local practice
and implemented into the design of tall buildings in areas including Turkey, the
Philippines, and Russia. The methods used for PBSD have produced innovative
and cost-effective buildings in these regions. As a result, this publication may be
an especially helpful reference for practitioners working internationally, and for
jurisdictions looking to develop their own PBSD guidelines and protocols for a
design approval process.

In adopting this methodology for use outside the US, it is recognized that local
design practices will vary internationally. Technical areas where significant
differences with US practice may occur would include performance criteria,
approvals processes, materials design standards, and definitions of seismic
hazard. Local structural engineers should closely review and resolve these issues
with local municipalities and appropriate approval authorities.

It is the intent of the CTBUH PBSD Working Group to disseminate these

methods to an international audience for the advancement and expansion of
PBSD principles. Additionally, the presentation of several case study examples
demonstrate the issues commonly encountered when using PBSD for the
design of tall buildings and how practicing engineers have resolved them.

Preface | 7
1.0 Introduction

Performance-Based Seismic Design

(PBSD) is a structural design
methodology that has become more
common in urban centers of the
western United States, especially for
the design of high-rise buildings.
It is a design methodology that
allows for design flexibility and offers
design opportunities to enhance
building performance and encourage
innovation. The most common use
of PBSD in practice is to substantiate
exceptions to specific prescribed code
requirements, such as height limits on
select structural systems. A second use
of PBSD is the ability to demonstrate
higher performance levels for a
structure at various intensities of a
seismic event.

An integral component of PBSD is

Nonlinear Response History Analysis
(NRHA). This advanced method of
analysis has been incorporated into
the design process in regions with
high seismicity, such as in China,
Philippines, Malaysia, etc. The design
checks required by the process of PBSD
are extensive and require substantial
knowledge of nonlinear seismic design,
building performance, and analytical
modeling. These demands have not
limited the design of structures, but
instead led to a number of highly
efficient tall building designs that would
not be possible following a traditional 5Figure 1.1: One Rincon Hill, San Francisco, designed using PBSD principles. © Magnusson Klemencic Associates
code-prescriptive design approach.

PBSD is currently accepted in understanding of building response ASCE 7, or as a group of guidelines such
numerous urban centers of the United in seismic events and allow for further as PEER/TBI and LATBSDC. Instead, this
States such as Los Angeles (see Figures innovations in seismic design. is a bridging document to introduce
1.1 and 1.2), San Francisco, Seattle, San PBSD methods to an international
Diego, and Salt Lake City. The current This publication provides structural audience. Structural engineers should
version of the American Society of engineers, developers, and contractors look to develop a project-specific basis
Civil Engineers loads standard (ASCE – in the US and internationally – a of design founded on the references
7–16) includes a detailed framework general understanding of the PBSD provided and engage their local
for PBSD, making it possible to use process and examples from leading jurisdictions for appropriate steps
PBSD methods in all US jurisdictions structural engineering firms with a needed for project approval. The PBSD
adopting this standard. The broad history of designing tall buildings in process is regularly evolving and the
acceptance of this methodology in high seismic zones. This publication latest standards and guidelines should
the US will lead to a more detailed is not intended as a standard such as be referenced.

12 | Introduction
1.1 Overview of Performance-Based results in cost-efficient solutions that caused significant damage and down-
Seismic Design satisfy the targeted performance levels time to large manufacturing businesses
more efficiently. Although PBSD requires in California. As a result of these seismic
Performance-based seismic design is a additional design effort, the benefits events, major market sectors like the
highly developed design methodology can be significant: reduced construction airline industry in the Los Angeles
that provides greater design flexibility costs, improved lease spaces, and area and the computing industry
to structural engineers than that enhanced seismic performance. in Silicon Valley desired to enhance
afforded by prescriptive code-based the performance of their buildings
approaches. However, the methodology to minimize the risk of casualties,
also involves significantly more effort 1.2 Goals of PBSD damage to facilities, and down-time
in the analysis and design stages, with of their existing and new facilities
verification of building performance Developers and structural engineers will should a more frequent event occur.
required at multiple seismic demand incorporate PBSD for a variety of reasons. This demand served as a catalyst to
levels using linear and advanced Common goals of PBSD include: the engineering community in the US
nonlinear analysis techniques. PBSD to develop design methods to assess
uses first principles of engineering to  the ability to make exceptions to performance of existing structures and
proportion and detail structural systems specific code requirements, such to develop design methodologies to
and components to meet specific as height limits for select seismic enhance the performance of these
performance objectives. force-resisting systems; systems, as well as ways to quantify
the impact of these enhancements.
Using PBSD methodology, the focus of  the use of seismic force-resisting Performance of existing structures
the structural engineer changes from systems and innovative designs not is quantified by the development of
a prescriptive “check list” approach prescribed by code; performance objectives that are defined
of code provisions to requiring the for structural systems and components
designer to more fully understand  the use of high-strength materials of the system.
building performance and the code’s and mechanical devices not
intent. Finding solutions through a prescribed by code; and Principles central to PBSD were
more detailed knowledge of building developed to rationally and efficiently
behavior in a seismic event often  the reduction of structural and guide the design of seismic retrofits to
non-structural damage through enhance the performance of existing
enhanced seismic damage structures. These provisions ultimately
performance objectives at specified resulted in ASCE 41. The current ASCE
levels of seismic intensity. 41-13 (Seismic Evaluation and Retrofit
of Existing Buildings) outlines a series of
A common example of a seismic force- evaluation levels for existing buildings.
resisting system not recognized by code Some levels of these types of retrofits
is a core-and-outrigger seismic force- are defined as Tier 1 and 2, which
resisting system. In the United States, involve more prescriptive procedures.
this is not one of the 82 seismic force- The Tier 3 methodology utilizes PBSD
resisting systems recognized in ASCE principles and includes performance
7. The use of PBSD methods facilitates objectives that are implied in the code
a method to evaluate and design such and illustrated in Figure 1.3.
seismic force-resisting systems.
Current PBSD documents such as PEER/
TBI (The Pacific Earthquake Engineering
1.3 Historical Development of PBSD Research Center/Tall Buildings Initiative)
Provisions and LATBSDC (Los Angeles Tall Buildings
Structural Design Center) refer to
Historically significant earthquake ASCE 41-13 for acceptance criteria at
5Figure 1.2: Wilshire Grand Center, Los Angeles, designed events (e.g., 1971 San Fernando, 1989 performance levels described in Section
using PBSD principles. © Gary Leonard/AC Martin Loma Prieta, and 1994 Northridge) 1.6 of deformation-controlled elements

Introduction | 13
2.0 Site-Specific Seismic Hazard Assessment

2.1 Introduction of natural periods and a specified critical Risk-Targeted Maximum Considered
damping ratio. In recent building codes, Earthquake (MCER), which corresponds
The seismic design of structures starting with ASCE 7-10, the spectra for to a two percent probability of
should include proper evaluation design are quantified in the maximum exceedance in 50 years; however, in
of seismic hazards. These hazards direction rather than the geometric highly seismic active areas there is
include the level of ground shaking mean (geo-mean). The quantification typically a deterministic cap for the
for structural design and liquefaction, of the maximum-direction spectra MCER (see Section 2.5).
ground deformations, loss of bearing, are generally done by correcting the
and slope stability hazards that SDOF geometric mean spectrum Deterministic Seismic Hazard Analysis
may impact the performance of via correction factors. However, the (DSHA)
foundations. PBSD guidelines typically correction factors have been developed A DSHA represents a scenario
recommend establishing site-specific by computing the maximum response earthquake approach. It is a relatively
ground motions, rather than using a of an elastic two-degree-of-freedom simple approach that considers the
prescriptive code spectrum, scaled (TDOF) simple damped oscillator and occurrence of an earthquake of a
up for the Risk-Targeted Maximum comparing it to the SDOF oscillator particular magnitude, typically a
Considered Event or scaled down for response. Walker et al. (2010) present maximum earthquake on a particular
the Service Level Earthquake (SLE). a comprehensive discussion of the fault and the closest distance to the
maximum-direction spectra. fault. Uncertainty is considered through
Open communication between the the use of standard deviation of the
geotechnical and structural engineers predictive relationships. The typical
is critical in the development of 2.2 Developing Site-Specific Target spectral levels considered are the
site-specific ground motions for tall Response Spectra median or 84th percentiles.
buildings. These communications
ideally should be initiated at the outset Generally, the level of shaking Conditional Mean Spectra (CMS)
of projects. Information regarding quantified as a Target Response CMS is an alternative approach to the
structural periods for the fundamental Spectrum could be determined using target spectrum, determined either
and higher modes is imperative for the probabilistic seismic hazard analysis using PSHA or DSHA. It can be used
development of appropriate ground (PSHA) (Cornell 1968 & McGuire 2004), as a target spectrum in the selection
motion criteria (e.g., time series) for deterministic seismic hazard analysis and scaling/matching of time series
structural evaluations and design. If (DSHA), Conditional Mean Spectrum for nonlinear structural analysis. The
a detailed Soil-Structure-Interaction (Baker and Cornell 2006), and NIST goal of this approach is to address
(SSI) analysis is performed, additional (2011) or ground response analysis. the conservatism in the UHS and
information regarding location, spacing, All of these methods result in a target the MCER deterministic spectra. CMS
and dimensions of structural elements spectrum for ground motion scaling provides a methodology such that the
(e.g., basement walls, basement floors, and matching. expected mean response spectrum
mat foundation, deep foundation is conditioned on the occurrence of a
elements, etc.) and properties of the Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Analysis target spectral acceleration value at the
structural elements (e.g., Poisson Ratio, (PSHA) period of interest. Because the Uniform
Young’s/Elastic Modulus, unconfined In a PSHA, a level of ground shaking is Hazard Spectrum (UHS) is a summation
compressive strength for concrete defined as a probability of exceedance of hazards from all sources, it does not
elements, minimum yield strength in a given period of time, typically 50 represent a scenario earthquake and
for steel elements, moment of inertia, years. The spectral values are developed provides higher spectral values than the
cross-sectional area, etc.) are needed. for the same mean annual frequency CMS at all periods except the period
of exceedance, which represents of interest. Therefore, CMS can be used
Levels of shaking for design (i.e., a uniform hazard, hence the term as the basis to develop and select an
earthquake-induced forces) are in Uniform Hazard Spectrum (UHS). A appropriate suite of time series for
general quantified by acceleration UHS includes earthquake hazard from different spectral periods.
response spectra. A response spectrum all considered sources in the area of
is the maximum response of an elastic study and does not represent a single Figure 2.1 presents an example of
single-degree-of-freedom (SDOF) earthquake. A typical level of hazard the PSHA, DSHA, and CMS for three
simple damped oscillator for a number defined in US building codes is the conditioning periods for the DSHA

22 | Site-Specific Seismic Hazard Assessment

5Figure 2.1: Example of Site-Specific Spectra. © Langan

spectral levels. CMS were developed for the use of NGA-West2 attenuation has become the preferred method
periods of 1.1, 2.3, and 5.6 seconds. relationships, which are based on Vs30 for the development of site-specific
values (average shear wave velocity in ground motions for structural
Ground Response Analysis the top 30 meters, measured from the evaluations and design. As presented
Ground response analysis is a ground surface or below the basement in Figure 2.1, CMS is equal to the
computational technique based on the level, see ASCE 7-16) could result in an target spectrum at the conditioning
theory of wave propagation through overestimation of long-period spectral periods and is less than the target
the soil. For this analysis, an idealized values, which are important for tall spectrum for other periods. The CMS
soil column is shaken by an earthquake buildings. For these site conditions, values presented in Figure 2.1 for the
(input) time series at the base layer. it is suggested to develop ground three conditioning periods are: 0.91g
The nonlinear soil behavior is modeled motion at the surface of rock/firm soil for a 1.1-second conditioning period,
by an equivalent-linear approach depth and perform ground-response 0.50g for a 2.3-second conditioning
(SHAKE-91; Idriss and Sun, 1992) and analysis to arrive at more reasonable period and 0.20g for a 5.6-second
nonlinear approach (DEEPSOIL; Hashash ground-surface or basement-level conditioning period. Therefore, it is
et al., 2015 and D-MOD 2000, Matasovic spectral response values. Two- and imperative that an adequate number
and Ordonez, 2011, etc.). To quantify three-dimensional nonlinear SSI of CMS is developed such that the drop
the interaction of the structure with analyses using computer programs – in the spectral values is not too severe.
the soil, SSI analyses are appropriate. such as FLAC, Plaxis, LS-DYNA, SASSI, The provisions of ASCE 7-16 require
While these types of evaluations are ADINA, OpenSees, and Midas – are that the envelope of the CMS does not
not routine and are not required, they some of the modeling techniques fall below 75% of the target spectrum.
are becoming more common in the used by geotechnical practitioners. In Typically, two conditioning periods,
development of site-specific ground addition, guidelines for incorporation of one representing the fundamental
motions for tall and supertall structures. kinematic and inertia interaction effects mode of the structure and one short
SSI models, which use nonlinear are provided in NIST (2012). period representing the second or
ground-response finite-element or higher mode vibrations, are considered.
finite-difference models of the soil and However, three or more conditioning
structure, quantify the stress-strain 2.3 Range of Structural Periods for period(s) of CMS may be required in
behavior of soil material in a more Consideration the event that the fundamental mode
direct fashion. It should be noted that period and the higher mode period
for a two-layer site condition (e.g., 40 The use of CMS as a tool for selection are too far apart. The determination
meters of fill and soft clay over rock), and scaling/matching of time series of these spectral periods is the

Site-Specific Seismic Hazard Assessment | 23

3.0 Design Using Linear Analysis

The initial proportioning of a building specific performance objectives are TBI and LATBSDC, with key parameters
consists of a complete design targeted at SLE-, DE-, and MCER-level in Tables 3.1 & 3.2.
process whereby all members of the ground shaking, verification at each
seismic force-resisting system are level may be required. The analysis model should include
proportioned. Linear design can be all lateral force-resisting elements,
done using SLE-, DE-, or MCER-level primary gravity system elements, and
earthquake demands. Most engineers 3.1 Modeling and Analysis basements. P-Delta effects should
prefer using SLE demands, with design be included. Slab openings affecting
methods appropriately adjusted For initial design using linear analysis, diaphragm stiffness should be included
for the lower demand level. Some modeling and design methods with semi-rigid diaphragm modeling.
engineers have utilized DE or MCER appropriate for the level of earthquake
level demands based on particular demands should be considered. Materials
building types or preference. When Response spectrum analysis is typically For SLE-level design, expected material
this is done, additional verification used. As mentioned above, for this properties should be utilized for
at DE or SLE may be required to document SLE demands are used for realistic estimates of stiffness. For
substantiate building performance and initial linear design. Material strength projects using ASCE 7 criteria and
code equivalency. SLE-based design is and stiffness assumptions, section specified ASTM material standards,
primarily considered in this document property modifiers, and material unless more detailed justification
and is described in detail in PEER/TBI strength reduction factors appropriate can be produced, expected material
and LATBSDC documents. The intent for SLE demands should be used and properties as shown in Table 3.1
of designing using SLE-level demands differ from DE-level assumptions. can be used. In jurisdictions not
is to inherently satisfy DE performance Material and section property using ASCE 7 and associated ASTM
objectives by verifying performance modifiers appropriate for SLE-level standards, robust testing of local
under SLE and MCER demands. If design are described in detail in PEER/ materials or historical information

Material Expected Strength

Expected Yield Strength, fye , psi Expected Ultimate Strength, fue , psi

Reinforcing Steel A615 Grade 60 70,000 106,000

A615 Grade 75 82,000 114,000
A706 Grade 60 69,000 95,000
A706 Grade 80 85,000 112,000

Structural Steel*** Hot-rolled structural shapes and bars

ASTM A36/A36M 1.5 fy* 1.2 fu**

ASTM A572/A572M Grade 50 1.1 fy* 1.1 fu
ASTM A913/A913M Grade 50, 60, 65 or 70 1.1 fy* 1.1 fu
ASTM A992/A992M 1.1 fy* 1.1 fu

ASTM A36/A36M 1.3 fy 1.2 fu
ASTM A572/A572M Grade 50, 55 1.1 fy 1.2 fu

Concrete f'ce =1.3f'c†

*fy is used to designate the specified (nominal) yield strength of steel materials in this Guideline. It is equivalent to fy or fyt used in ACI 318 and Fy used in AISC (2006) standards.
**fu is used to designate the specified (nominal) ultimate strength of steel materials in this Guideline. It is equivalent to Fu used in AISC (2006) standards.
***For steel materials not listed, refer to Table A3.1 of ANSI/AISC 341-16

f'c = specified compressive strength. Expected strength f'ce is strength expected at approximately one year or longer. Note that the multiplier on f'c may be smaller for high-strength concrete,
and can also be affected by (1) use of fly ash and other additives, and/or (2) local aggregates.

5Table 3.1: Expected Material Strength. Source: PEER/TBI

32 | Design Using Linear Analysis

Service-Level Linear Models MCER-Level Nonlinear Models
Axial Flexural Shear Axial Flexural Shear
Structural walls (in-plane)
1.0EcAg 0.75EcIg 0.4EcAg 1.0EcAg 0.35EcIg 0.2EcAg
Structural walls (out-of-plane) – 0.25EcIg – – 0.25EcIg –
Basement walls (in-plane) 1.0EcAg 1.0EcIg 0.4EcAg 1.0EcAg 0.8EcIg 0.2EcAg
Basement walls (out-of-plane) – 0.25EcIg – – 0.25EcIg –

l  l 
Coupling beams with conventional or 0.07   Ec Ig 0.07   Ec Ig
1.0EcAg h 0.4EcAg 1.0EcAg h 0.4EcAg
diagonal reinforcement
≤ 0.3Ec Ig ≤ 0.3Ec Ig

Composite steel / reinforced concrete l  l 

1.0(EA)trans 0.07   ( EI )trans 1.0EsAsw 1.0(EA)trans 0.07   ( EI )trans 1.0EsAsw
coupling beams 2 h h
Non-PT transfer diaphragms (in-plane only)3 0.5EcAg 0.5EcIg 0.4EcAg 0.25EcAg 0.25EcIg 0.1EcAg
PT transfer diaphragms (in-plane only) 3
0.8EcAg 0.8EcIg 0.4EcAg 0.5EcAg 0.5EcIg 0.2EcAg
Beams 1.0EcAg 0.5EcIg 0.4EcAg 1.0EcAg 0.3EcIg 0.4EcAg
Columns 1.0EcAg 0.7EcIg 0.4EcAg 1.0EcAg 0.7EcIg 0.4EcAg
Mat (in-plane) 0.8EcAg 0.8EcIg 0.8EcAg 0.5EcAg 0.5EcIg 0.5EcAg
Mat (out-of-plane)
– 0.8EcIg – – 0.5EcIg –
Values are relevant where walls are modeled as line elements. Where walls are modeled using fiber elements, the model should automatically account for cracking of concrete and the
associated effects on member stiffness.
(EI)trans is intended to represent the flexural rigidity of the cracked transformed section. It is acceptable to calculate the transformed section properties based on structural mechanics
or to use (EI)trans = EcIg/5 + EsIs per ACI 318.
Specified stiffness values for diaphragms are intended to represent expected values. Alternative values may be suitable where bounding analyses are used to estimate bounds of
force transfers at major transfer levels. For diaphragms that are not associated with major force transfers, common practice is to model the diaphragm as being rigid in its plane. Flexural
rigidity of diaphragms out of plane is usually relatively low and is commonly ignored. The exception is where the diaphragm acts as a framing element to engage gravity columns as
outrigger elements, in which case out-of-plane modeling may be required.
Specified stiffness values for mat foundations pertain to the general condition of the mat. Where the walls or other vertical members impose sufficiently large forces, including local
force reversals across stacked wall openings, the stiffness values may need to be reduced.

5Table 3.2: Reinforced Concrete Effective Stiffness Values. Source: PEER/TBI

is needed to estimate appropriate the components, through section

expected material parameters. property modifiers with reduced
effective stiffness of the member.
PEER/TBI recommends the use of Property modifiers are based on In jurisdictions not
expected material properties for experimental testing. Since SLE
analysis-model component stiffness, demands are often considered, using ASCE 7 and
but specified material properties for LATBSDC and PEER/TBI have published associated ASTM
component strength capacity. concrete section property modifiers for
use in SLE-and MCER-level events. The standards, robust
LATBSDC recommends expected
material properties for analysis-
application of property modifiers can
have a significant impact on member
testing of local
model component stiffness and force levels and should be carefully materials or historical
strength capacity. considered for each project. Other
resources that engineers should review information is
Since MCER evaluation using NRHA include PEER/TBI (see Table 3.2), ASCE needed to estimate
is also conducted, either method is 41-13 Table 10-5 for all concrete
valid, but the PEER/TBI method is elements, and ATC 72-1 Table 4-1 for appropriate expected
more conservative. link beams. For link beams reinforced
with steel wide flanges, AISC 341-10
material parameters.
Section Properties Commentary H4 can be consulted. It
In linear elastic analyses, section should be noted that there are
properties need to be reduced to inconsistencies between these
account for cracking and damage to documents, and engineers should use

Design Using Linear Analysis | 33

4.0 Verification of Response Under MCER Using NRHA

With the seismic force-resisting system Component Modeling concrete, and unconfined
fully proportioned using linear analysis, All finite elements are composed of concrete. Each fiber has an
verification of performance under MCER deformation and force-controlled independent backbone curve.
level shaking using NRHA is conducted. actions identified in the linear analysis A graphical example of a fiber
The intent is to verify the design, but and design stage (see Table 3.3). arrangement in a core wall is
some design modifications can be made For components with force- and shown in Figure 4.1. Here, each
during this step to ensure design criteria deformation-controlled actions, red dot represents a steel fiber
and performance levels are satisfied. elements are composed of linear and and a concrete fiber. If the area
Generally, it is only required to repeat nonlinear responses. For components is shaded red the concrete fiber
linear analysis checks if the MCER analysis with only force-controlled actions, fully is confined, if it is not shaded red
and design leads to modifications linear elastic assumptions are utilized. it is unconfined. Fiber properties
to the non-negotiable dimensional are determined by the material
proportioning of the structure. Although there are a variety of within each zone. Typically two to
modeling methods available in a variety four fibers are located in boundary
MCER peak ground acceleration can be of software packages, commonly zones and only two are located
4–8 times higher than SLE. It is expected used component modeling methods in non-boundary areas between
that deformation-controlled actions are described in the following list. boundary zones. This allows for
of components of the structure will Further descriptions of these and other linear extrapolation of results
exhibit inelastic response, and as a result, component modeling methods can be outside of the fibers if desired.
a nonlinear analysis model that takes found in ATC-72 and ATC-114.
this inelastic response into account is 2. Coupling beams: These elements
necessary to appropriately evaluate the 1. Wall Elements: Shear is a are often modeled with “lumped”
building performance objectives. force-controlled action and plasticity as a mid-span hinge or
modeled elastically. Axial and as flexural hinges at each end.
With appropriate modeling applied, flexural behavior are represented Behavior needs to be closely
global and component acceptance with a series of nonlinear bar matched to representative physical
criteria need to be verified for elements. Three types are typically testing, similar with material
conformance with specified included, and are referred to strengths, detailing, and span/
performance objectives. as “fibers” representing vertical depth ratios. Care should be taken
wall reinforcement, confined to ensure the physical testing

4.1 Modeling and Analysis

Modeling of elements is significantly

more detailed with NRHA than RSA,
and appropriate care should be given
to all modeling assumptions. A much
higher level of fidelity in modeling
and results is possible with NRHA.
This leads not only to a more refined
understanding of building behavior,
but also to opportunities for modest
adjustments. For example, modeling
methods in NRHA help identify with
greater clarity the formation of a plastic
hinge zone, or if a more distributed
yielding is to be expected. This allows
for more appropriate detailing in high-
deformation areas, and more efficient
reinforcement layouts elsewhere.
5Figure 4.1: Example Graphical Fiber Element Arrangement. © Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP

38 | Verification of Response Under MCER Using NRHA

Plastic hinges at ends of clear length Elastic segments Stiff end zone
(if needed)

Elastic segments Stiff end zone Rigid-plastic shear hinge Moment strength section

5Figure 4.2: Element with Hinges at Each End (left) and Elements with a Hinge at Mid-Span (right). Source: CTBUH based on ATC-72

FC  Effective yield strength and

Fy deformation (Fy and δy)
 Effective elastic stiffness, Ke=Fy/δy
 Strength cap and associated
Fr deformation for monotonic loading (Fc
and δc)
Ke  Pre-capping plastic deformation for
monotonic loading, δp
 Effective post-yield tangent stiffness,
δy δc δr δu δ Kp=(Fc-Fy)/δp
 Residual strength. Fr=κFy
 Ultimate deformation, δu
δp δpc
5Figure 4.3: Backbone Curve and Parameters (ATC-72) (Red = Tested, Black = Idealized). Source: CTBUH based on ATC-72

substantiating the proposed be verified after analysis. If columns utilized and can yield significantly.
coupling beam is appropriate are modeled with nonlinear Refer to ATC 114 for modeling
(see Figure 4.2). Refer to ASCE 41 behavior, refer to ATC 114 for information and ASCE 41 for
and published physical testing modeling information and ASCE 41 rotation limits.
results. In most cases, specific for rotation limits.
nonlinear properties are published. In some instances, deformation-
If only a hysteresis is available in a 4. Slab Equivalent Frames: It is controlled actions are modeled
publication, engineers may need common to represent floor framing elastically. For example, while
to overlay the hysteresis resulting systems (beam or flat slab) using basement walls are categorized as
from a proposed nonlinear an equivalent frame with lumped deformation-controlled for flexure
backbone curve to verify their plasticity at each end where and force-controlled for shear, their
material model. yielding is anticipated. This is done non-linear behavior is not modeled, as
to account for the “micro-outrigger” they are not anticipated to yield.
3. Gravity Columns: Axial compression effect of flat slabs on columns,
is a force-controlled action and and to verify that framing rotation Nonlinear Behavior Modeling with
modeled elastically. If limited limits are satisfied. In tall buildings, Lumped Plasticity
nonlinear behavior is permitted floor framing systems will often For deformation-controlled elements
in the column, a flexural hinge at yield in the upper portion of the with a lumped plasticity, a nonlinear
each end is appropriate. If flexure is tower, where the core lifts up and backbone curve is employed in the
to remain elastic, linear response is the gravity columns do not. Often mathematical model using the general
appropriate and reinforcement can flat-plate post-tensioned slabs are force deformation shape as shown in

Verification of Response Under MCER Using NRHA | 39

5.0 Basis of Design Example

The purpose of a Basis of Design Describe the primary load path Gravity System
(BOD) document or design criteria if multiple systems are used, and, Describe the gravity system in more
document is to state deviations if so, their intended purposes. If detail, with typical dimensions and
from governing code requirements, higher occupancies require higher material strengths. Describe if gravity
either exceptions or enhancements, performance levels by the governing system components are intended to
and describe subsequent methods building code, specify. resist seismic actions as part of the
justifying these exceptions or seismic-force resisting system.
enhancements. Content will often Describe the site in terms of
include descriptions of all structural geographic coordinates and include
systems, description of design a description of site considerations. 5.3 Substructure
procedure, performance objectives, Describe the relationship of local and
analytical modeling methods, and national building code requirements Basement Levels
acceptance criteria. It is not intended to this project. Describe basement levels in more
to contain all information used for detail, with typical dimensions and
the design of the building, but should Describe locations of anticipated material strengths. For sloped sites,
be a standalone document with inelastic behavior and any enhanced describe how the site slopes. Provide
references to all needed information. seismic devices such as buckling plans/sections that schematically
No structural engineering results restrained braces, isolation bearings, describe unique considerations.
should be presented in the Basis of dampers, etc.
Design document. Typically, Basis of
Design documents range from 10 to Representative design drawings 5.4 Foundation System
25 pages in length. The BOD should should be included. This can be
be included in the design drawings satisfied by placing the BOD on a Describe the foundation system for the
for future reference by the building drawing sheet as part of the set of tower and podium including details,
owner, especially if exceptions to building structural drawings. dimensions, and material strengths.
code provisions are taken.
Geotechnical Investigations and Reports
The Basis of Design document is 5.2 Superstructure Reference geotechnical investigations
generally submitted to the peer review undertaken by the project geotechnical
panel and local governing jurisdictions This section will describe the engineer and provide a reference to
involved in building permitting for superstructure, which includes the their report. Specify if site-specific
review and comment early in the ground floor and above. For sloped information is being used in the design
building design process. In some sites, this would include all elements of the building.
jurisdictions, the BOD is submitted above grade.
with the architectural building site
permit. Typically, the document can If the building is connected to 5.5 Code Analysis and Design Criteria
be updated and revised through the multiple buildings sharing a common
design process, as appropriate, to basement, describe how they are Building Codes, Standards, Regulations
reflect the final design. interconnected (i.e., seismic joints, and Computer Software
common transfer diaphragm, etc.).
Engineers should review Appendix B of Include a schematic diagram showing Building Codes, Standards and
PEER/TBI for additional information. their overall configuration. Regulations
List all codes progressing from local to
Lateral System national. Also, list non-code sources of
5.1 General Describe the lateral system in more information that are directly used in
detail, with typical dimensions the design. Examples would include
Describe project location, structural and material strengths. Identify supporting publications of nonlinear
system types used, and the most primary transfer diaphragms at- and material/component behavior and their
important building considerations. above-grade. acceptance criteria.

48 | Basis of Design Example

Computer Software Structural Lateral Load Criteria 5.6 Structural Analysis and Design
List all software, versions used, and Provide a summary of seismic- and
structural elements designed with them. wind-code-based load criteria, listing The following sections provide
all key code values. For wind, include appropriate detail for each step in
Code Exceptions all key parameters, such as exposure the structural system design and
State the specific section(s) of category and basic wind speed. For verification process. This information
governing code that are excepted, if seismic, include all parameters used should be conveyed in a logical,
any. It is best to specifically quote the to calculate code base shear. Include sequential manner.
appropriate portions of code. Include a response modification factors such as
brief justification for how the exception R and Ωo. Typically, the initial design of the
is justified. seismic force-resisting system is
Seismic Loads Utilizing Site-Specific based on response spectrum analysis.
In jurisdictions where PBSD is Response Spectra and Ground Motions Then, subsequent verification is
accepted, there are typically clear Describe the site-specific seismic conducted using NRHA. The specifics
design steps and criteria that are information provided by the of this process can vary based on
expected to be followed. Describe geotechnical engineer and a brief the requirements of the jurisdiction,
those requirements here and how they description of their methods. The project-specific requirements, and
are satisfied. If multi-step sequencing geotechnical engineer should help on-going advancements of the PBSD
is used, describe this sequence in develop this text, or text should design process.
general and how each step leads to be adopted from the geotechnical
the next. engineer’s report. Specify the level of Each step in the described process
damping assumed in the spectra. should include common information
Provide a description of the scope such as performance objectives, design
of peer review. This may already be Specify the target spectrum for the criteria, analysis model information
specified by the governing jurisdiction if selection and development of ground (including particulars of nonlinear
PBSD is already adopted. motions. If target spectra are other component modeling), and acceptance
than MCER, such as conditional mean criteria of global performance and
Performance Objectives spectrum (CMS), are used, then describe individual members. This common
Provide a table that describes the their development. Provide a plot of format will help convey differences
intended building performance. The spectral acceleration versus period between each step in the design and
table may specify actions, as in some with code-based and seismic-specific verification process.
cases a single element may have MCER, DE, and SLE design spectra. Also
different objectives for different actions, provide a similar plot showing MCER The initial member designs using
such as shear walls. An example is and developed CMS target spectra. linear analyses are not always reviewed
found in Table 3.3. Examples of these two plots are found by the peer review panel, but could
in Figure 5.1. Black-and-white should be very important to the governing
If performance of non-structural be used, as they may be placed on a jurisdiction looking to ensure a basic
components varies from the drawing sheet. standard of care was utilized, similar to
governing building code, specify their code-based buildings. Thus, including
performance, including cladding, Structural Materials the entire design process in this
partitions, elevators, exit stairs, etc. Provide a list of all typical materials document is advantageous.
used, and organize the list by concrete,
Structural Gravity Load Criteria reinforcement, and structural steel. Step 1: Design Using Linear Analysis
Include a summarized version of gravity State the grade, yield strength, and The purpose of this step is to describe
loading criteria for typical floors and appropriate ASTM designation for the methods used for design of the
conditions. This helps the document reinforcement and steel. State the seismic force-resisting system. Often, a
stand alone. Not all gravity load criteria typical application for each. service-level linear analysis is used with
need to be stated, but the exterior wall adjusted acceptance criteria to ensure
should be included. appropriate performance under MCER

Basis of Design Example | 49

Performance-Based Seismic Design Examples
Design Example 1: Tall High-Occupancy Office Tower

This design example includes

documentation to demonstrate the
implementation of a performance-based
design approach. A performance-based
design approach should follow an
approved Basis of Design document
that establishes criteria for determining
performance acceptability at both
a service-level earthquake (SLE) and
a maximum considered earthquake
(MCER). The objectives of the
performance in these events are further
described in the Basis of Design, which
is not provided with this document. The
examples included are not intended to
present complete or comprehensive
results. The example presented is
representative of the state of practice
at the time of this project’s design, and
therefore the acceptance criteria or other
metrics will vary from current practice
depending on when the project was
designed, project type, jurisdiction,
design guidelines referenced, and peer
reviewers. This example focuses on
extracts from PBSD reports that highlight
specific element types, show effective
formats for presenting results, and
display acceptance criteria evaluations
that occurred for this design.

This design example is for a 525-foot

(160-meter), 36-story office tower (see
Figure 6.1). The design consists of a
reinforced concrete central core, with
floor framing consisting of steel floors
with composite steel decking. This
example highlights a building that is
designed as Risk Category III due to the
number occupants, and, therefore, with
acceptance criteria modified accordingly.
5Figure 6.1: Service-Level Analysis Model. © Magnusson Klemencic Associates

6.1 Serviceability Event Analysis and

SLE Model Period
Mode Number Mode Description
1 X direction (translation) 4.12 Evaluation at the service-level
2 Y-direction (translation) 2.45
earthquake (SLE) is required in order to
3 Torsion 2.30
quantify response characteristics that
relate to the serviceability performance
5Table 6.1: Service-Level Periods of Vibration. of the structure. These characteristics are

56 | Performance Based Seismic Design Examples

items such as story drift, coupling beam
demands, and shear wall demands. The
acceptance criteria for this serviceability-
level event are selected to encourage
essentially elastic behavior of the
elements under consideration.

6.2 Elastic Model Description

The analysis model used for the

service-level verification is a three-
dimensional, linear elastic, 2.5%
damped mathematical model. Walls
and slabs are modeled as elastic shell
elements. Columns are modeled as
frame elements. Torsion in the model is 5Figure 6.2: Example Corner Points for Drift Determination. © Magnusson Klemencic Associates

limited to inherent torsion; accidental

torsion is not included. Cracked section Max SLE Seismic (Site Specific) Story Drift
properties are included in the model 525

as described in the Basis of Design 500

document. The analysis performed is 450
Y Direction
Y Direction

a modal response spectrum analysis 425

425 X Direction
X Direction
procedure, including a minimum mass 375
Drift Limit

Drift Limit
participation of 90% of the seismic


mass, with the results combined using 300
the complete quadratic combination 275

(CQC) method. The seismic mass

includes the building’s estimated 200
self-weight, the superimposed dead 150
load, and any live load required by ASCE 125
7 to be included, such as mechanical 100
equipment and a portion of storage 50
loads. Mass is only assigned above the 25
seismic base (ground level in this case). -25
-50 0.0000 0.0010
0.0010 0.0020
0.0020 0.0030
0.0030 0.0040
0.0040 0.0050
0.0050 0.0060
Acceptance Criteria: Story Drift
5Figure 6.3: Max SLE Seismic (Site-Specific) Story Drift. © Magnusson Klemencic Associates
Story drift is a measure of the building
deformations under the SLE event. By
placing a limitation on building drift,
damage of nonstructural elements
(such as cladding, wall partitions, etc.) spectrum is applied with no scaling points considered is identified in Figure
can be limited. The three-dimensional and no accidental torsion. Story drift 6.2. Many software analysis tools have
lateral analysis model includes the is calculated at each corner of the the ability to directly output story drift.
stiffness modification parameters building by taking the difference in The diagram in Figure 6.3 indicates the
identified above, which are consistent elastic displacement of adjacent floors maximum story drift recorded for all
with the anticipated behavior at SLE. divided by the story height. Story drift four corners considered plotted over
is calculated on a per-corner basis in the building height. The story drift
For the design example, the order to correctly include the effects reported is substantially less than the
acceptance criteria value for drift at of inherent torsion and the rotational acceptance criteria; therefore, the story
SLE is 0.5 percent. The full SLE response response. An example of the corner drift is considered acceptable.

Performance Based Seismic Design Examples | 57

Performance-Based Seismic Design Examples
Design Example 2: Supertall Mixed-Use Tower

systems, and prescriptive seismic code

provisions for buildings of this height
would require a dual system (special
core and special moment frames) that
would not satisfy building performance
criteria. Meeting the provisions of the
Los Angeles Tall Buildings Structural
Design Council (LATBSDC) PBSD
guidelines was considered sufficient to
demonstrate acceptability to the Los
Angeles building department and its
peer review panel. Buckling-restrained
brace (BRB) diagonals at all outrigger
levels provide stable cyclic nonlinear
behavior and limit forces generated at
columns, connections, and core walls.
At the lowest set of outriggers, each
diagonal is composed of four individual
BRBs extending through three stories.
The group of four BRBs provides
exceptionally large capacity while
using individual elements in sizes that
have already been tested. The middle
outriggers have an unusual ”X-braced
Vierendeel” configuration, discussed
further in this section. The top three-
story-tall outriggers are pre-loaded by
jacks to address long-term differential
shortening between the concrete core
and concrete-filled steel perimeter box
5Figure 6.33: Isometric 3D Model with Outriggers at Three Levels. © AC Martin columns. The outrigger connection
details are complex in order to handle
large forces and deformations, but
6.5 Project Overview central concrete core to suit its primary were developed with contractor input
function as a hotel. Perimeter columns to enable practical construction (see
PBSD modeling approaches, are composite, rectangular steel box Figures 6.34 and 6.35).
acceptance criteria, and results columns with high-strength concrete
summaries can be used for steel-framed fill to minimize impact on hotel room The middle outriggers occur roughly
structures, composite structures, windows. Three sets of outrigger braces 2/3 of the way up the tower and extend
and mixed-material structures. More provide occupant comfort during vertically through six stories, from level
economical and appropriate designs windy conditions and safety during 53 to level 59. These outriggers form
and details can be based on the earthquakes (see Figure 6.33). A rooftop “X-braced Vierendeel trusses,” which are
better understanding of member “sail” feature and a tapered spire (not concealed within the walls separating
demands from PBSD. For consistency shown) are other major steel elements. hotel rooms. To keep the hotel corridor
with the previous example, another clear, a three-foot (0.9-meter) deep
high-rise building is used to illustrate PBSD using NRHA through the analysis steel girder extends from the outrigger
this point. Its structural framing program Perform-3D was selected braces to a pinned connection at the
incorporates both composite elements to show acceptable performance concrete core wall at each floor level,
(concrete-filled steel box columns) of the proposed structural system. shown in Figure 6.35. Steel posts share
and mixed construction. The tower Prescriptive seismic code provisions forces among girders, but some posts
has long, narrow floors and a slender do not include core-and-outrigger are omitted to minimize the restraint

70 | Performance Based Seismic Design Examples

W.P. 938' - 6"


B W.P.


14 "
"x 10
10 "x
" 14 2
BR S-009.19.1 TYP.
927' - 0"

BR 2

10 14
"x W.P.
14 10
W.P. BR W.P.
915' - 6"

W33X387 W.P. W.P.


W.P. "x
BR 14
14 BR
" 56
904' - 0"
W33X318 S-009.19
0" BR
W.P. "x 1

14 W.P. 14
B "x
BR 10
892' - 6"

W33X387 W.P.


BR " 3
B 10 TYP.
14 "x S-009.19 U.N.O.
"x 14
10 B
W.P. " 54
881' - 0"

9 W33X318 "
10 BR 4

B S-009.19
B 14

869' - 6"


5Figure 6.34: Bottom Outrigger Extending Through Three Stories. © Thornton Tomasetti 5Figure 6.35: Middle Outrigger Using Deep Girders to Cross Corridors.
© Brandow & Johnston

of long-term shortening on core-wall based on a 1,700-year mean recurrence the transverse (north–south) direction
concrete within the outrigger height. interval (MRI), ASCE 7-10 wind and 3.5 seconds in the longitudinal,
loads based on the building’s high east–west direction, and local high
Steel belt trusses at the bottom and occupancy, and checking dynamic seismicity. Note that in regions of
top outrigger levels, visible in Figure properties for occupant comfort using low seismicity, the minimum base
6.36, link the 10 outrigger columns 10-year MRI wind informed by local shear equations may not govern over
to all perimeter tower columns. By wind climate data. the spectrum-based shear value. For
engaging all 20 perimeter columns, overturning, scaled RSA results were
the stiffness of the lateral load-resisting Step two was estimating structural- used in preliminary checks. For shears,
system is maximized, and differential component seismic demands using scaled RSA results were tripled because
vertical movements between columns linear elastic response-spectrum higher modes are major sources of
are minimized. Belt trusses also act as analysis (RSA) results, scaled up to story shear (but not overturning) in tall
“virtual (or indirect) outriggers,” reducing provide base shear of at least 85% of flexible buildings. That behavior is not
tower deflections in the long direction. the minimum base shear equations addressed well by code methods that
The load path to accomplish this is in the prescriptive code. In this directly relate overturning and shear
described later. case, equivalent lateral force for the as appropriate for more common,
design earthquake level, as used for shorter buildings, and because a
General Steps in the PBSD Process conventional analysis and design, 1.5 factor is applied to mean results
Step one in the design process governed over spectrum-based for force-controlled shear checks.
was sizing core walls, columns, and shear. This was done by considering Subsequent NRHA results confirmed
outriggers for strength-level forces a building period of seven seconds in the reasonableness of this approach.

Performance Based Seismic Design Examples | 71

Performance-Based Seismic Design Examples
Design Example 3: Tall Flat-Plate Office Tower

5Figure 6.62: Photos of Completed Building. © Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP

6.15 Project Description adapted in an efficient manner for elevators, and back-of-house areas.
high-rise office application. The height-to-depth ratio of the core
The following is a structural system is approximately 9:1. The shear wall
description for a tower situated in Superstructure core extends from foundation to roof.
downtown San Francisco, California (see The superstructure consists of a central The shear walls vary in thickness from
Figure 6.62). The occupancy consists of reinforced concrete shear-wall core, 24” to 33” and in concrete compressive
office above grade and parking below perimeter gravity columns, and two- strength from 6,000 psi to 8,000 psi. The
grade. The 30-story tower is 384 feet way flat-plate slab framing. The tower is shear wall core is interconnected with
and two inches above grade with three roughly square in plan with dimensions the use of ductile diagonally-reinforced
basement levels below grade and a of 125’–0” x 130’–0”. The typical office link beams at openings required for
total building area of approximately floor-to-floor height is 13’-2”. doorways and corridors.
455,000 square feet. The seismic force-
resisting structural system consists of Lateral System Gravity System
reinforced concrete core walls from the The lateral system consists of a centrally The gravity framing system both
foundation to roof. The gravity system located reinforced concrete shear-wall inside and outside the core consists
is a long-span, flat plate, post-tensioned core. The shear wall core has an of a two-way post-tensioned (PT)
system. This combination of lateral and external plan area of 43’–0” x 52’–6” and flat-plate slab. The slab clears spans
gravity systems is common in high-rise is located around the service area of from the core to the perimeter and
residential construction, but has been the structure, passenger and service has a uniform thickness of 11”. The

84 | Performance Based Seismic Design Examples

115 ft

RC Columns

11" Thick PT
Flat Slab

RC Core

123 ft
45 ft

60" wide x 25" deep

Upturned PT Beam

5Figure 6.63: Typical Floor Plan. © Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP 5Figure 6.64: Building Section. © Skidmore, Owings
& Merrill LLP

long-span flat slab is post-tensioned cruciform shapes embedded within Foundations

to maintain uncracked section under the concrete column. The southwest The foundation system consists of a 10’–0”
service gravity loads, and cambered for corner is double-cantilevered 30 thick, conventionally-reinforced concrete
a portion of the long-term deflection. feet with the use of upturned post- mat foundation (see Figure 6.64). A
The slab utilizes concrete with a tensioned beams (see Figure 6.63). perimeter reinforced concrete foundation
compressive strength of 5,000 psi. Due wall system consists of conventional
to the long-span condition, a digitally Substructure 16”–22” thick cast-in-place concrete walls.
mapped camber program was used Vertical elements of the superstructure The substrate consists of dense sands over
to ensure deflections would meet continue down through the pre-consolidated clay.
tenant requirements. The perimeter substructure to the foundation.
vertical gravity columns are typically Shear walls are 24”–33” thick, with a
composed of conventional reinforced compressive strength of 8,000 psi. 6.16 Design Criteria
concrete sections, varying in size from The columns are typically 36” x 48”
42” x 42” square to 26” x 26” square. and consist of 8,000 psi concrete. The The building was designed under the
The columns utilize concrete with gravity system in the substructure San Francisco Building Code SFBC 2010,
compressive strengths ranging from consists of a 10” thick, conventionally which refers to the California Building
6,000 psi to 8,000 psi. The tall columns reinforced, two-way flat-plate slab that Code (2010) and ASCE 7 (2005). The CBC
at the entry lobby consist of 42” x 42” utilizes concrete with a compressive is adopted from previous IBC publications
composite members utilizing steel strength of 5,000 psi. with amendments specific to California.

Performance Based Seismic Design Examples | 85

Performance-Based Seismic Design Examples
Design Example 4: Tall Residential Tower with Podium

118 ft

PT Flat Slab

52 ft
RC Gravity

E RC Link Beam

33 ft
RC Core Wall
91 ft
E 31 ft

27 ft
5Figure 6.77: Rendering. © Skidmore, Owings 5Figure 6.78: Typical Floor Plan. © Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
& Merrill LLP

6.20 Project Description in plan with dimensions of 91’–0” to 1. This is a very slender application
x 118’–0” and a larger podium. The of a core-only lateral system approach.
The following is a structural system typical residential floor-to-floor height The shear wall core extends from
description for a residential tower is 9’–3” (see Figure 6.78). The podium is foundation to roof. At podium levels,
situated in downtown San Francisco, exceptionally large for similar buildings additional shear walls are included to
California (see Figure 6.77). The in San Francisco at nine floors, and assist the core, due to the added mass
occupancy consists of apartment plays a significant role in building’s and eccentricity. The shear walls vary in
residential units above grade, and response to lateral loading. thickness from 36” to 24”, and in concrete
parking below grade. The 42-story compressive strength of 8,000 psi at
tower is 420’–0” tall above grade with With the removal of the code- the core to 6,000 psi at the podium. The
six basement levels below grade and prescribed moment frame, the shear wall core is interconnected with
a total building area of approximately improvement of the typical floor the use of ductile diagonally-reinforced
743,500 square feet. The seismic force- section is demonstrated in Figures 6.79 link beams at openings required for
resisting structural system consists of and 6.80. By removing the moment doorways and corridors.
reinforced concrete core walls from the frame, inefficient material is removed,
foundation to roof. The gravity system is floor-to-floor height is reduced, and Core shear wall elevations are shown in
a long-span, flat-plate, post-tensioned constructability is improved. Figure 6.81, where the darker shading
system. This combination of lateral and indicates confined boundary zones.
gravity systems is common in high-rise Lateral System
residential construction. The lateral system consists of a Gravity System
centrally-located reinforced concrete The gravity framing system both inside
Superstructure shear wall core. The shear wall core has and outside the core consists of a two-
The superstructure consists of a an external plan area of 33’–0” x 52’–0” way post-tensioned (PT) flat-plate slab.
central reinforced concrete shear wall and is located around the service area The slab clear-spans from the core to the
core, perimeter gravity columns, and of the structure, passenger and service perimeter and has a uniform thickness
two-way flat-plate slab framing (see elevators, and back-of-house areas. The of seven inches. The long-span flat slab
Figure 6.77). The tower is roughly square height-to-depth ratio of the core is 12.1 is post-tensioned to maintain uncracked

96 | Performance Based Seismic Design Examples







5Figure 6.79: PBSD Core-Only Approach. © Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP




5Figure 6.80: Code-Prescribed Dual System Approach. © Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP



section under service gravity loads. The

slab utilizes concrete with a compressive
at Folsom Street and First Street,
San Francisco, CA 94105

strength of 6,000 psi.



Substructure Fougeron Architecture

521 Francisco Street
San Francisco, CA 94133

The vertical elements of the

p: 415.641.5744
f: 415.282.6434

Structural Engineer:

superstructure continue down through

the substructure to the foundation. SKIDMORE, OWINGS & MERRILL LLP

The gravity system in the substructure Consultants:

consists of a 10” thick, conventionally

reinforced, two-way flat-plate slab that
Seal & Signature:

utilizes concrete with a compressive Issued For:

strength of 6,000 psi.

No.: Description: Date:

The foundation system consists of a
10’–0” thick conventional reinforced
concrete mat foundation. A perimeter-
reinforced concrete foundation wall
system consists of conventional
cast-in-place concrete walls. The Key Plan:

substrate consists of dense sands over



pre-consolidated clay. Due to soils that NORTH


could potentially “liquefy” in a seismic

Sheet Name:


event, jet-grouted soil improvement

3/28/2016 6:49:43 PM

Project No.: Sheet No.:

Drawn By: Author

columns were specified by the

Checked By:

1/16" = 1'-0" c Copyright Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP 2015

5Figure 6.81: Shear Wall Elevations: West, North, East, and South (from left to right). © Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
geotechnical engineer.

Performance Based Seismic Design Examples | 97

Performance-Based Seismic Design (PBSD) is a structural design methodology
that has become more common in urban centers around the world, particularly
for the design of high-rise buildings. The primary benefit of PBSD is that it
substantiates exceptions to prescribed code requirements, such as height limits
applied to specific structural systems, and allows project teams to demonstrate
higher performance levels for structures during a seismic event.

However, the methodology also involves significantly more effort in the

analysis and design stages, with verification of building performance required
at multiple seismic demand levels using Nonlinear Response History Analysis
(NRHA). The design process also requires substantial knowledge of overall
building performance and analytical modeling, in order to proportion and detail
structural systems to meet specific performance objectives.

This CTBUH Technical Guide provides structural engineers, developers, and

contractors with a general understanding of the PBSD process by presenting
case studies that demonstrate the issues commonly encountered when using
the methodology, along with their corresponding solutions. The guide also
provides references to the latest industry guidelines, as applied in the western
United States, with the goal of disseminating these methods to an international
audience for the advancement and expansion of PBSD principles worldwide.