An iterative linear-equivalent procedure to take into account nonlinear soil-structure interaction effects in the displacement-based seismic design is presented for the case of shallow foundations. The procedure is based on the use of empirical curves to evaluate the stiffness degradation and the increase of damping ratio as a function of foundation rotation. Iterations are performed to ensure that admissible values of foundation rotations are complied with, in addition to the standard checks on structural displacements and drifts. Some examples of application of the approach to the design of bridge piers are provided. Design results are checked by means of nonlinear dynamic time-history analyses performed by a macro-element-based numerical tool, assuming nonlinear behavior of both structure and soil-foundation system.

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