Steel Special Moment Resisting Frames (SMRFs) with Viscous Damping Devices (VDDs) have been used by authors for design of many new and retrofitted buildings. Design experience has shown that such combination is reliable and cost effective, with a higher confidence in meeting the performance levels than the conventional design. The dampers serve to reduce the seismic demand and the anticipated damage to structures in an earthquake. Since the level of nonlinear response in steel members is limited, it is also anticipated that the design will have lower repair cost and shorter downtime following an earthquake. The cost-effectiveness and the anticipated superior performance of steel SMRFs with VDDs present an opportunity for a more widespread application of this combination in design. However, no comprehensive and rigorous analyses has been conducted to address several outstanding issues: the probabilistic assessment of performance, the realistic confidence levels, and correlation between the engineering data and hazard evaluation parameters including probable maximum loss (PML) and business interruptions (BI). It is proposed to address such issues in an upcoming research program.
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