Current design practice for earthquake-resistant buildings produces systems that meet basic life safety requirements, but post-earthquake damage costs are enormous. For example, direct losses of more than $40 billion have been estimated for the 1994 Northridge earthquake in California, even though this earthquake was not large in magnitude. New earthquake- resistant structural systems that withstand design basis earthquake (DBE) ground motions without damage are clearly needed to reduce damage repair costs, and indirect economic costs due to loss of building occupancy. At the same time, to be utilized in the construction market, these new earthquake-resistant systems must be similar in initial cost to conventional systems. Self-centering (SC) steel frame systems have both characteristics: (1) the potential to withstand DBE ground motions without damage; and (2) the potential not to differ much in initial cost from conventional steel moment resisting frame (MRF) systems.

Partial List of References