Force reduction factors for steel buildings with welded and post-tensioned connections

Alfredo Reyes-Salazar, Mario D. Llanes-Tizoc, Juan Bojorquez, Edén Bojórquez, Arturo López-Barraza, Achintya Haldar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The seismic responses of steel buildings with perimeter moment resisting frames (MRF) with welded connections (WC) are estimated and compared to those of similar buildings with semi-rigid post-tensioned connections (PC). The responses are estimated in terms of ductility reduction factors (Rµ,), ductility demands (µG) and force reduction factors (R). Two steel model buildings, which were modeled as complex-3D-MDOF systems, were used in the study. Results indicate that the reduction magnitude of global response parameters is larger than that of local response parameters, contradicting the same reduction implicitly assumed in the static equivalent lateral force procedure, implying that non-conservative design may result. The value of 8 for R, suggested in many codes for ductile steel MRF, and the value of 1 suggested in the well known Newmark and Hall procedure for the ratio of R to µG, cannot be justified. The reason for this is that SDOF systems were used to model actual structures, where higher mode effects, energy dissipation and structural overstrength weren’t explicitly considered. The codes should be more transparent regarding the magnitude and the components involved in the force reduction factors. The seismic performance of steel buildings with PC may be superior to that of the buildings with WC, since their force reduction factors are larger and their ductility demands smaller, implying that PC buildings could be designed for smaller lateral seismic forces. The conclusions of this paper are for the particular structural systems and models considered. Much more research is needed to reach more general conclusions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2827-2858
Number of pages32
JournalBulletin of Earthquake Engineering
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016


  • Ductility and force reduction factors
  • Ductility capacity
  • MDOF and SDOF systems
  • Moment resisting frames
  • Steel buildings
  • Welded and semi-rigid post-tensioned connections

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Geophysics


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