Most recent seismic codes include response modification factors in the definition of the equivalent lateral forces that are used for the design of earthquake resistant buildings. The response modification factors (R) are used to reduce the linear elastic design spectrum to account for the energy dissipation capacity of the structure. The evaluation of these response modification factors for various sets of earthquake records and ductility factors is presented herein. Special attention is given to the short period range where the reduction of linear elastic response spectra is smaller than the values for intermediate and long period structures. An idealized and simple variation of the response modification factor as a function of the period of vibration, suitable for seismic codes formulation, is also presented.

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