Inelastic design methods have been used in seismic design for several years and are well accepted in engineering practice. In contrast, an inelastic wind design method is yet to be developed, in part due to the inherent differences between seismic forces and wind forces. Current wind design practice follows a linear method to find a design windspeed for the location where the structure will be built. Once the design windspeed has been determined, the lateral force resisting system is designed such that it will behave elastically. This study was conducted with the hypothesis that by providing ductility at the material level, member level, and system level it may be possible to use a reduced design force for wind (i.e., a design force reduction that is proportional to a wind response modification factor). A three-story office building that uses steel moment frames as the primary lateral force resisting system was examined to test the hypothesis. Various levels of ductility were included based on ductility requirements for material strength, section stability and system stability originally developed for seismic design. Moment frames were designed for a range of design windspeeds and for three levels of ductility. For each design windspeed, a non-ductile (representing the moment frame as it would be designed by current standards), moderately-ductile and highly-ductile moment frame were developed. A finite element model of the building was made to capture inelastic material behavior and large displacements. The finite element model was subjected to wind loads based on wind tunnel tests data, and the static pushover, vibration, and dynamic responses of the building were evaluated. The performance of each moderately-ductile and highly-ductile moment frame was compared to the performance of each non-ductile frame of a higher design windspeed. The results show that for moderately-ductile moment frames, a wind response modification factor equal to 2 provided a collapse capacity that met or exceeded the collapse capacity of the comparative nonductile moment frame. For highly-ductile moment frames, a wind response modification factor equal to 3 met or exceeded the collapse capacity of the comparative non-ductile moment frame. In many instances, the collapse capacity of the moderately-ductile moment frame was similar to the collapse capacity of the highly-ductile moment frame. Thus, the results indicate that the use of a response modification factor for wind may be viable.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Civil and Environmental Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





ductility, inelasticity, moment frame, wind



Included in

Engineering Commons