The study presented in this paper is among the first in a series of studies toward the engineering validation of the hybrid broadband ground‐motion simulation methodology by Graves and Pitarka (2010). This paper provides a statistical comparison between seismic demands of single degree of freedom (SDoF) systems subjected to past events using simulations and actual recordings. A number of SDoF systems are selected considering the following: (1) 16 oscillation periods between 0.1 and 6 s; (2) elastic case and four nonlinearity levels, from mildly inelastic to severely inelastic systems; and (3) two hysteretic behaviors, in particular, nondegrading–nonevolutionary and degrading–evolutionary. Demand spectra are derived in terms of peak and cyclic response, as well as their statistics for four historical earthquakes: 1979 Mw 6.5 Imperial Valley, 1989 Mw 6.8 Loma Prieta, 1992 Mw 7.2 Landers, and 1994 Mw 6.7 Northridge.

The results of this study show that both elastic and inelastic demands from simulated and recorded motions are generally similar. However, for some structural systems, the inelastic response to simulated accelerograms may produce median demands that appear different from those obtained using corresponding recorded motions. The magnitude of such differences depends on the SDoF period, the nonlinearity level, and, to a lesser extent, the hysteretic model used. In the case of peak response, these discrepancies are likely due to differences in the spectral shape, while the differences in terms of cyclic response can be explained by some integral parameters of ground motion (i.e., duration‐related). Moreover, the intraevent standard deviation values of structural demands calculated from the simulations are generally lower than those given by recorded ground motions, especially at short periods. The assessment of the results using formal statistical hypothesis tests indicates that, in most cases, the differences found are not significant, increasing the trust in the use of simulated motions for engineering applications.

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