Methods for conceptual and preliminary seismic design of buildings with steel structure

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Tiago Ribeiro
Ana Sousa


Throughout the last two decades, seismic design standards evolved to ever more comprehensive and detailed prescriptions, stressing out the need for design methods that deal with earthquake effects not as actions, but as a design philosophy. The Eurocode 8 adoption as national law throughout the European Union countries and informally in many parts of Africa, Asia and Latin America is the pretext for the current study. It aims to provide some guidance to the seismic design of steel structures as well as to the Eurocode 8 implementation by the designers.

Some lines on the preliminary design of structural systems were written based on several real cases of structures designed taking into account the seismic action. Such a content is, usually, relevant in any design guide, given its value in enhancing the design technical and economical content. However, it is now of utter significance at the current context as an essential tool to facilitate the safety checking of several code requirements.

Some of the Eurocode 8 prescriptions are then decoded, explained and justified based on the supportive bibliography. The information is subsequently ordered as a design guide, where some procedures are proposed to cope with the code interrelated prescriptions and one structural solution is proposed in order to overcome a design challenge while complying with the code.

One last but not less relevant addressed issue is the fact that some Eurocode 8 prescriptions may be reviewed, in the eyes of a designer, given its practical outcome. Such issues are identified, explained and some slight code adjustments are suggested.


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Ribeiro, T., & Sousa, A. (2019). Methods for conceptual and preliminary seismic design of buildings with steel structure. ACI Avances En Ciencias E Ingenierías, 11(2).
Biografía del autor/a

Tiago Ribeiro, Tal Projecto

Senior Structural Engineer and Managing Partner at Tal Projecto design office, in Lisbon. I hold a BSc and MSc degree in Civil Engineering, a MSc degree in Structural Engineering, both in TU Lisbon, a MSc degree in Steel and Composite Construction in University of Coimbra, as well as post-graduate studies on Earthquake Engineering in IUSS Pavia.

Whilst having taken part in the design or analysis of more than 200 structures, my most relevant activity encompasses steel and composite design and detailing, high-rise buildings design, seismic analysis and stadia roofs design.

Furthermore, I collaborated in several research projects and wrote several articles, besides a book. Lately, I have been focused on offshore structures design, fatigue analysis with probabilistic methods, seismic design of steel structures and artificial intelligence applications for structural engineering.