In the current state-of-practice of the performance-based design of structures, simplified procedures are often used to evaluate the deformation capacity of structural systems. One specific example is using the rotation limits for the deformation-controlled elements. This paper suggests the use of the strain limits, instead, and presents an efficient nonlinear analytical technique to compute the strain demand values for both steel and concrete structures. The beam finite element nonlinear properties are specified through “bending moment – curvature – axial force” relationships obtained from nonlinear section property calculations. Once the analysis is complete, this technique will use the time histories of result quantities to calculate the extreme fiber strain demands at each time step and quantify the structural element performance based directly on the material strains. This technique has been successfully employed in several projects. Due to its high efficiency, it has proven to be very well suited for the production environment without introducing unnecessary assumptions or sacrificing accuracy.

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