Overstrength and force reduction factors of multistorey reinforced-concrete buildings

A. S. Elnashai, A. M. Mwafy

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143 Scopus citations


This paper addresses the issue of horizontal overstrength in modern code-designed reinforced-concrete (RC) buildings. The relationship between the lateral capacity, the design force reduction factor, the ductility level and the overstrength factor are investigated. The lateral capacity and the overstrength factor are estimated by means of inelastic static pushover as well as time-history collapse analysis for 12 buildings of various characteristics representing a wide range of contemporary RC buildings. The importance of employing the elongated periods of structures to obtain the design forces is emphasized. Predicting this period from free vibration analysis by employing 'effective' flexural stiffnesses is investigated. A direct relationship between the force reduction factor used in design and the lateral capacity of structures is confirmed in this study. Moreover, conservative overstrength of medium and low period RC buildings designed according to Eurocode 8 is proposed. Finally, the implication of the force reduction factor on the commonly utilized overstrength definition is highlighted. Advantages of using an additional measure of response alongside the overstrength factor are emphasized. This is the ratio between the overstrength factor and the force reduction factor and is termed the inherent overstrength (Ωi). The suggested measure provides more meaningful results of reserve strength and structural response than overstrength and force reduction factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)329-351
Number of pages23
JournalStructural Design of Tall Buildings
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 15 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction


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