A Capacity Design Procedure for Columns of Steel Structures with Diagonals Braces

M. Bosco*, A. Ghersi, E.M. Marino, P.P. Rossi
Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture, University of Catania, V. le A. Doria 6, 95125 Catania, Italy.

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© 2014 Bosco et al.;

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture, University of Catania, V. le A. Doria 6, 95125 Catania, Italy; Tel: +390957382274; Fax: +390957382298; E-mail:


According to modern seismic codes, in concentrically braced frames the seismic input energy should be dissipated by means of the hysteretic behaviour of braces while all the other members (i.e. beams and columns) have to remain elastic. Accordingly, the design internal forces of braces are determined in these codes by elastic analysis of the structure subjected to seismic forces obtained by the design spectrum. The internal forces of the non-dissipative members, instead, are calculated by means of specified rules for the application of capacity design principles. According to some recent numerical analyses, the yielding or buckling of columns may take place before braces achieve their axial deformation capacity. This paper investigates the reasons of this unsatisfactory behaviour and proposes technological suggestions and a design procedure to improve the seismic performance of columns of building structures with diagonal braces.

Keywords: Capacity design, columns, nonlinear dynamic analysis, concentrically braced frame, seismic design, steel structure.