Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Leonard D. Albano, Advisor




Reinforced concrete moment-resisting frames are structural systems that work to resist earthquake ground motions through ductile behavior. Their performance is essential to prevent building collapse and loss of life during a seismic event. Seismic building code provisions outline requirements for three categories of reinforced concrete moment-resisting frames: ordinary moment frames, intermediate moment frames, and special moment frames. Extensive research has been conducted on the performance of special moment-resisting frames for areas of high seismic activity such as California. More research is needed on the performance of intermediate moment frames for areas of moderate seismicity because the current code provisions are based on past observation and experience. Adapting dynamic analysis software and applications developed by the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research (PEER) Group, a representative concrete intermediate moment frame was designed per code provisions and analyzed for specified ground motions in order to calculate the probability of collapse. A parametric study is used to explore the impact of changes in design characteristics and building code requirements on the seismic response and probability of collapse, namely the effect of additional height and the addition of a strong column-weak beam ratio requirement. The results show that the IMF seismic design provisions in ACI 318-08 provide acceptable seismic performance based on current assessment methodology as gravity design appeared to govern the system. Additional height did not negatively impact seismic performance, while the addition of a strong-column weak-beam ratio did not significantly improve results. It is the goal of this project to add insight into the design provisions for intermediate moment frames and to contribute to the technical base for future criteria.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name



Civil & Environmental Engineering

Project Type


Date Accepted





reinforced concrete moment frames, seismic performance, seismic design, ACI318