This paper deals with the evaluation of strength demands relevant for the seismic design of columns that are part of moment-resisting frames. Regular frames with fundamental periods from 0.3 sec. to 3.6 sec. and number of stories from 3 to 18 are investigated. An evaluation of the relationships between strength demands (e.g., story shear forces, story overturning moments, and moments in columns), ground motion intensity, fundamental period, and number of stories is the focus of this paper. The results from this study demonstrate that the magnitude and distribution over the height of maximum axial and shear forces in columns exposed to severe earthquakes often are not adequately estimated by current seismic design and analysis procedures (e.g., the nonlinear static pushover). Moreover, the potential of plastic hinging in columns is high for regular frames designed according to the strong-column/weak-beam requirements of current code provisions, and more stringent strong-column/weak-beam criteria appear to be called for. The presented results are intended to provide guidance for improvement of seismic design provisions to avoid brittle failure modes in columns of moment-resisting frames.

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