Developments in Quantifying the Response Factors Required for Linear Analytical and Seismic Design Procedures

Nadeem Hussain, Shahria Alam, Aman Mwafy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Despite the recent initiatives and developments in building design provisions using performance-based design, practicing engineers frequently adopt force-based design approaches, irrespective of the structural system or building irregularity. Modern seismic building codes adopt the concept of simplifying the complex nonlinear response of a structure under seismic loading to an equivalent linear response through elastic analytical procedures using seismic design response factors. Nevertheless, code-recommended seismic design response factors may not result in a cost-effective design with a uniform margin of safety for different structural systems. Previous studies also adopted different methodologies for quantifying the seismic response factors. Hence, there is a pressing need for a comprehensive review covering the developments in quantifying these vital design factors. This paper presents a systematic review of the response factors used with linear analytical procedures recommended by modern building design provisions and the techniques employed in previous studies to evaluate these factors using SDOF and MDOF systems covering analytical, experimental and hybrid assessment approaches. Limitations and gaps identified from the previous studies indicated that most investigations focused on 2D analysis and regular low-rise buildings, while limited studies were directed to shear wall structures, considering mostly unidirectional seismic loading. This comparative review provides insights into previous studies’ methodologies and constraints and identifies the need for future research to calibrate seismic response factors to achieve more economical designs with consistent safety margins for different structural systems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number247
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024


  • design codes
  • multi-story buildings
  • seismic response factors
  • structural systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Architecture
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction


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