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CAPACITY-DEMAND CURVES
METHOD FOR PERFORMANCE/
DISPLACEMENT-BASED SEISMIC
DESIGN

L. P. Ye
1

Department of Civil Engineering
Tsinghua University
Beijing P. R. China 100084
Ylp@tsinghua.edu.cn
Abstract
Based on the visual graphical procedure of capacity spectrum method (CSM), a new
method, called capacity-demand curves method (CDCM), is proposed for
performance/displacement seismic design in this paper. The new method can be drawn
from CSM but could avoid its disadvantages in difficult determination of demand
point and larger error induced for long period system. Then the method is developed to
determine the seismic performance/displacement including damage degree of
structures and the corresponding probability under multiple earthquake hazard levels.
All the procedures are presented in illustrative format which are easy to be understood
and the values are easy to be determined. The demand curves, reflecting the relations
of elastic and inelastic response, are based on the suggestion of R-
d
relations in
previous studies, and comparison of different models is discussed.
1 Int roducti on
In recent year, studies on performance/displacement-based seismic design method were taking out
around the researchers of earthquake engineering in the world. The seismic design method innovation is
promoted for that designer want to evaluate and verify the structures (existing or to be designed)
performance under multiple earthquake hazard levels. Some evaluation and design procedures
incorporating with performance/displacement-based seismic design concept were developed in some
requirements and documents, such as Vision 2000
1
, ATC-40
2
and new seismic design provision in
J apan
3
. Among them, the so-called capacity spectrum method (CSM), which compares the capacity
spectrum of structure with demand spectrum of earthquake ground motion using visual graphical
procedure, was become popularity. This visual graphical procedure is easy to be understood for the
seismic performance of the structures existing or to be designed.
The CSM (see Fig. 1) was developed by Freeman
4,5
, and some modifications both in determining
capacity spectrum of structure and demand spectrum of earthquake ground motion were made in recent
years
6,7,8
. Besides the problems to obtain more reasonable and accuracy of the both spectrum curves,
CSM has two other following disadvantages in practical use,

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(1) The demand point must be determined by the intersection of the capacity spectrum and the demand
spectrum with corresponding damping factor or ductility factor. The inelastic seismic demand spectrum
are usually provided in a set of damping factors or ductility factors, so it makes some trouble to find the
proper demand spectrum corresponding to the demand point at the capacity spectrum.
(2) For long period structure, the resistance strength of structure capacity curve is usually small, which
results in a small value of capacity acceleration in the capacity spectrum. It may cause a large error in
finding the demand point due to flat demand spectrum curves in long period range.













But the visual graphical procedure of capacity spectrum method is attractive in determining the seismic
performance. Thus, the author proposed a new visual graphical procedure, called capacity-demand
curves method (CDCM), for performance/displacement seismic design in this paper. The new method,
without the above two disadvantages of CSM, is firstly drawn from CSM to present its concept. Then
the method is developed to determine the seismic performance of structures under multiple earthquake
hazard levels. All the procedures are presented in illustrative format which are easy to be understood.
Finally, demand curves in CDCM of different models are discussed.
2 CONCEPT OF CAPACITY-DEMAND CURVES METHOD
Fig. 2 shows CSM used for a serials of structure system with same initial period T . The straight line OA
in Fig. 2 represents the elastic capacity spectrum of the structure equivalent SDOF system (the
structure equivalent SDOF system will be omitted when structure capacity spectrum is used in the
paper following). Line OA and elastic demand spectrum intersect at point A, which is the seismic
demand for the elastic system. The spectral acceleration of point A is taken as S
A,E
.
Elasto-plastic capacity spectrum of structure is supposed to be used for inelastic system. The yielding
spectral acceleration of the inelastic system capacity spectrum is expressed by S
A,E
/R. The factor R is
called strength reduction factor due to inelastic properties of inelastic system, such as ductility and
hysteretic energy dissipation. With a definite value R, say R
1
or R
2
, a corresponding capacity spectrum
curve can be obtained, see Fig, 2. As for the capacity spectrum corresponding to factor R
1
, the demand
point (point B in Fig. 2) can be determined using CSM. And another value R
2
corresponds to another
demand point (point C in Fig. 2). In this way, a demand curve (i.e., the curve ABC in Fig. 2), can be
obtained for serials of reduction factor by connecting the demand points. If the demand curve can be
given before hand for any initial period (Fig. 3), the intersection of the capacity spectrum and the
Figure 1 Capacity Spectrum Method
S
A
S
D
Demand spectrum corresponding to point A
Realistic response point
Capacity spectrum #1
Demand spectrum corresponding to a set
of damping factors or ductility factors
Capacity spectrum #2
0
A
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demand curve (notice the difference between demand curve and demand spectrum) can be determined
to obtain the inelastic response without interpolation calculation as CSM.

























In a more comprehensive illustration, the capacity spectrum and the demand curve can be expressed in
force-displacement coordinate system, as shown in Fig. 4. Actually, the capacity spectrum in
acceleration-displacement coordinate system is converted from the capacity curve of structure in
force-displacement coordinate system by dividing the force by the effective mass of equivalent SDOF
system
5,7
. Thus, the capacity curve and the demand curve can be used to determine the seismic response
point of an inelastic system by illustration procedure in force-displacement coordinate system, so the
method is called capacity-demand curves method (CDCM). Because the demand curve across the
capacity curve around 90 degree angle and a proper scale of force-displacement coordinate system can
be used for a special initial period in the CDCM, the intersection point between the two curves is easy
to be determined for any initial period system. Thus, the two disadvantages stated previously can be
overcome.
Figure 2 Concept of Demand Curve Based on CSM
S
A
S
D
Demand spectrum corresponding to point C
Demand point of Capacity spectrum of R
2

Capacity spectrum of R
2
Elastic demand spectrum
0
C
Elastic response point
Demand spectrum corresponding to point B
Demand point of Capacity spectrum of R
1

Capacity spectrum of R
1
S
A,E

S
A,E
/R
1
S
A,E
/R
2
B
Demand curve
T
A
S
A
S
D
Elastic demand spectrum
0
Demand curve for T
1
T
1
Figure 3
Demand curve for T
2
T
2
Demand curve for T
3

T
3
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From previous description, the suggested CDCM not only has the advantages in CSM with a whole
performance evaluation in spectrum way (Fig. 3), but also can be used for a special case of initial period
(Fig. 4, this expression of the CDCM will be used in following of this paper). With the elastic response
point being determined from the elastic demand spectrum and the known corresponding demand curve,
the performance/displacement-based seismic design procedure, stated by Fajfar
7
, can be also adopted in
the CDCM. Fajfar
7
has also pointed out that the inelastic seismic demand can be determined without
constructing the demand spectra. The determination of demand curves will be discussed later in this
paper.












3 PERFORMANCE UNDER MULTIPLE EARTHQUAKE HAZARD
LEVELS
The structure performance should be evaluated under multiple earthquake hazard levels in the
performance/displacement-based seismic design. This can also be made by the CDCM in an easy way.
Three earthquake hazard levels, representing small, moderate and severe earthquake intensities, are
considered. The three demand curves corresponding to the three levels are assumed proportional to the elastic
responses, as shown in Fig. 5. Thus, the intersections of capacity curve and the demand curves give the
performance estimation under the three earthquake hazard levels.
In Fig. 5, the yield strength of capacity curve is shown larger than the elastic force response at small
earthquake level. This is essential for structure within elastic range and obvious damage is not allowed under
small earthquake, so the demand curve of small earthquake is not shown. From the intersections of capacity
curve and the demand curves under moderate and severe levels, the damage degree of structure can be
estimated as,
c u
d
DM
,

= (1)
where, DM is damage degree value of structure, DM=0 represents no damage and DM=1 represents total
damaged;
d
is the demand ductility factor,
d
=D
d
/D
y
; D
d
is the demand displacement (D
d,M
or D
d,L
in Fig. 5
for moderate and severe earthquake intensity), which is determined by the intersection of capacity curve and
demand curve; D
y
is the yield displacement of the equivalent SDOF system of structure;
u,c
is the ultimate
ductility factor under cyclic (earthquake) loading, which can be determined by Fajfars suggestion
9
that
u,c

can be obtained from the ultimate ductility factor
u,m
under monotonic loading by considering hysteretic
Force
Displacement
0
Demand curve
K
Figure 4 CDCM in Force-Displacement Coordinate System
Elastic response
Inelastic response
Capacity curve
Capacity limit
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energy accumulation under ground oscillation. If the damage degree limits are given for moderate and severe
earthquake levels, it is easy to determine the yield strength F
y
by the CDCM.
















4 PROBABILITY OF STRUCTURE PERFORMANCE BY CDCM
Another important value that should be estimated in performance/displacement -based design is the
reliable (or lose) probability of the structure performance. Supposing that the exceeding probability of
an certain earthquake intensity at the building site is known by the history earthquake investigation and
earthquake risk analysis, the damage probability of the structure can also be estimated by the CDCM.
Fig. 6(a) shows probable frequency curve of earthquake intensity. The horizontal axis is earthquake
intensity, I
S
, I
M
and I
L
represent the small, moderate and larger (severe) earthquake intensity
respectively. The vertical axis is probable frequency corresponding to the earthquake intensity. The
exceeding probability of a earthquake intensity, say moderate earthquake intensity I
M
, is the area under
the probable frequency curve at the right of I
M
(shade area in Fig. 6(a)), it can be calculated by Eqn. (2).
The exceeding probability curve is shown in Fig. 6(b).

=
=
I x
dx x p I P ) ( ) ( (2)
As the elastic response is approximately proportional to earthquake intensity, so the exceeding
probability of elastic response and then the corresponding demand curve is same as that of the
earthquake intensity, for example, P(F
e,S
)=P(I
S
), P(F
e,M
)=P(I
M
) and P(F
e,L
)=P(I
L
), etc. Thus,
considering a continuos earthquake intensities, the exceeding probability curve of damage degree for a
given capacity curve, saying capacity curve #1 in figure 7, can be determined used the illustration
procedure as shown in figure 7. By this way, the structure damage probability under the potential
earthquake intensities can be evaluated. In figure 7, it is easy to understand that the larger yield strength
of capacity curve with the same ultimate ductility capacity, the less exceeding probability of damage
Note: Point S, M and L represent elastic responses under small, moderate and severe
earthquake levels; D
d,M
and D
d,L
represent demand displacements of moderate
and severe earthquakes, respectively; F
e,S
, F
e,M
and F
e,L
represent elastic force
responses of small, moderate and severe earthquakes, respectively.
Figure 5 Performance under Multiple Earthquake Hazard Levels
Force
Displacement
0
Demand curve of severe level
K

M
Capacity curve
L
S
F
y
D
y
D
d,M
D
d,L
Demand curve of moderate level
F
e,L
F
e,M
F
e,S
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degree. Thus, designer can make a proper decision for the designed structure with an expecting damage
degree probability.

































p(I)
Earthquake intensity I
I
I
M I
S
Exceeding probability of I
M
0

(a) Probable frequency curve
Figure 6 Probability of earthquake intensity
P(I)
Earthquake intensity
I
L
I
M
I
S
P(I
M
)
0

(b) Exceeding Probability curve
P(I
S
)
P(I
L
)
1.0
Force
Displacement
0
Demand curve of severe level
K
M
Capacity curve #1
L
S
D
y D
d,M
D
d,L
Demand curve of moderate level
P(F
e,L
)=P(I
L
)
Probability 1.0
P(F
e,M
)=P(I
M
)
P(F
e,S
)=P(I
S
)
(a) Relation between demand curve and probability of earthquake intensity
Capacity curve #2
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In above procedure, because the demand curve is the average one for certain earthquake intensity, the
exceeding probability is corresponding to the average demand response. The response randomness
under certain earthquake intensity should also be considered in determining the exceeding probability
in future study.
5 DEMAND CURVES
The demand curves are in fact the response relations of inelastic system and elastic system. For the equivalent
SDOF systemof structures and an elasto-plastic force-displacement relation being used, the demand curves
can be expressed as,
e
d
d
D
R
D

= (3)
where, D
d
is the demand displacement of inelastic system for an earthquake intensity; D
e
is the elastic
displacement response under the same earthquake intensity; R is strength reduction factor, R=F
e
/F
y
; F
e
is the
elastic force response under the same earthquake intensity; F
y
is the yield strength of the inelastic system. If
the relations between the strength reduction factor R and the demand ductility
d
are known, the demand
curves can be obtained.
The Newmark and Halls
10,11
equal energy and equal displacement rules may be regarded as the first
and simple R-
d
relations suggestion. But Newmark and Halls suggestion did not consider the
continuous influence of initial period of the systems and sometime underestimate inelastic response.
Several following researches
12-19
, including the method of equivalent damped linear elastic system of inelastic
system
13
, were made on establishing the R-
d
relations. An excellent and thorough review of the
previous efforts before 1994 on the relations can be found in the work by Miranda and Bertero
16
.
Based on the previous researches, R-
d
relation depends on the initial period T of the systems, hysteresis
energy dissipation capacity and site types. Recently, Ordaz
17
found that elastic displacement spectrum had
relations to the strength reduction factor R, and so to the demand curves. But Ordazs suggestion can only be
used for individual earthquake motion with its elastic displacement spectrum or maximum displacement of
ground motion given. Akiyama
18
and the author of this paper
19
deduced the relations based on energy concept.
The author has also discussed the continuous influence of initial period of systems based on energy input
spectra. In those studies, the energy-based approach may be the one to give a reasonable theory explanation
about the response relation between inelastic systems and elastic systems, while the others were mainly based
on response properties and statistics analysis.

Figure 7
(b) Probability of damage degree
P(DM)
DM
0

Probability curve of Capacity curve #2
0.5

1.0

Probability curve of Capacity curve #1
P(DM(
d,M
))=P(I
M
)
P(DM(
d,L
))=P(I
L
)
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The R-
d
relations suggested by the previous researches are not presented in detail in this paper, but Fig. 8
shows their comparison in 1/RD
d
/D
e
relation (same pattern as the demand curves) for short and middle
initial period systems. It could be noticed in Fig. 8(a) that Newmarks equal energy rule appear to be the
average of the other researchers suggestion in short period field, this is due to that other models chosed a
proper initial period parameter. It could also be noticed in Fig. 8(b) that Newmarks equal displacement rule
is on the safe side in middle period field when strength reduction factor R is larger than a reasonable low
value, and the Akiyamas suggestion is shown to be the lower bound because it toke a perfect elasto-plastic
0 0. 1 1. 2 2. 3
0.
0.
0.
0.
1
Newmark equal energy rule
Vidic, /T
G
=0.5
Miranda, T=0.25s(rock site)
Shibata, <TG
Ye, T<T
G
, =0.6
Akiyama, T<TG,
Ordaz, /D
max
=0.3
Nassar, =0.25s
D
d
/D
e

(a) In short period field
1/R
0 0. 1 1. 2 2. 3
0.
0.
0.
0.
1
Newmark equal displ. rule
Vidic, >T
G
Miranda, T=2s(rock site)
Shibata, T>T
G
Ye, T>T
G
,
Akiyama, T>TG,
Ordaz, D/Dmax=1.5
Nassar, T=2s
D
d
/D
e

(b) In middle period field
1/R
Figure 8 Demand Curves of Different Models
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hysteresis model.
Another thing the author should mention is that calculated results with inelastic time history analysis method
were found larger than any demand curves suggestions in cases, especially for low strength reduction factor
in short period field
19
. Thus, the seismic response randomness and the reliable probability of demand curves
suggestion need further study. Nevertheless, the suggestion of R-
d
relations in previous studies can provide
reasonably accurate both for the CDCM and capacity spectrum method for seismic design situations.
6 CONCLUSIONS
With the merits of visual graphical procedure and without the disadvantages of difficult determination
of demand point and larger error may induced in long period by CSM, the CDCM proposed in this paper
has shown to be a more useful method for performance/displacement-based seismic design for new
built structure and evaluation of existing buildings. The CDCM can also be used for evaluating the
performance and damage degree of structures under multiple earthquake levels. If the exceeding
probability of earthquake intensities is known, the reliability probability of performance and exceeding
probability of damage degree of structures can also be evaluated by the CDCM in illustration format.
The accurate of the CDCM is mainly based on the demand curves, which many researches had been
done. The reliable probability of demand curves due to the seismic response randomness is worthwhile
to investigate in further study both for CDCM and CSM. But the suggestion of R-
d
relations in
previous studies can provide reasonably accurate both for CDCM and CSM for seismic design and
evaluation.
REFERENCES

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