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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2015, Article ID 234879, 10 pages
Research Article

A Relative Reliability Approach for Direct Displacement-Based Seismic Design of Partially Prestressed Reinforced Concrete Frame Structures

Institute of Civil Engineering, Chongqing University, Chongqing 400045, China

Received 18 June 2015; Revised 1 August 2015; Accepted 2 August 2015

Academic Editor: David Bigaud

Copyright © 2015 Bin Jian et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A relative reliability approach for Direct Displacement-Based Design (DDBD) is first proposed in this paper, which is based on the average reliability level implicit in current Chinese design codes. By introducing a relative reliability coefficient , the determination of reliability from DDBD is transformed to the calculation of its ratio to the average reliability of current Chinese codes. This approach not only follows the reliability principle of current Chinese codes, but also avoids the complex calculation of reliability in general. The calculation of reliability at any performance level can be transformed to the nominal reliability of frequent earthquake for the expected earthquake risk level. Meanwhile, based on the assumption of elasticity, it is shown that, under frequent earthquake risk, the calculated base shear derived from DDBD theoretically equals that from force-based design (FBD). Therefore, a revised calculation of section bearing capacity for DDBD, which follows the expression in current Chinese codes, is advised, according to the numerical study of 24 examples of Partially Prestressed Reinforced Concrete (PPRC) frame structures. Finally, this proposed approach is verified to be effective and superior by a comparative analysis of 10 examples of PPRC frames.