A performance-based approach for seismic retrofitting of buildings with energy dissipating devices is presented. The approach may be seen as an algorithm useful for converging to a preliminary design of a system to be analyzed according to the time history approach recommended in the NEHRP Guidelines for the Seismic Rehabilitation of Buildings (FEMA 273). The algorithm is based on the analysis of equivalent single-degree-of-freedom models with added parallel elements that represent the dissipating devices. The combined systems are analyzed under sets of accelerograms associated with different return intervals. The acceptance criteria are intended to control the peak drift of the rehabilitated structure and the maximum ductility demand of the dissipating devices. It is required that these maximum structural responses, for a given seismic intensity, be equal to or smaller than those associated with a given probability of exceedance. The approach is successfully applied to a ten-story, three-bay frame rehabilitated with U-shaped steel dissipators.

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