American Society of Civil Engineers

Prediction of Nonlinear Response—Pushover Analysis versus Simplified Nonlinear Response History Analysis

by Helmut Krawinkler, (Dept. of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305. E-mail:, Dimitrios G. Lignos, (McGill University, Department of Civil Engineering and Applied Mechanics, Montreal, QC H3A 2K6. E-mail:, and Chris Putman, (Degenkolb Engineers, 300 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Suite 450, Oakland, CA 94612. E-mail:
Section: New Research and Novel Applications, pp. 2228-2239, (doi:

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Document type: Conference Proceeding Paper
Part of: Structures Congress 2011
Abstract: This paper discusses the pros and cons of predicting structural behavior and important engineering demand parameters (EDPs) by means of either nonlinear static pushover (NSP) analysis or nonlinear response history analysis (NRHA) with simple hysteretic models. It will be demonstrated that NRHA comes out as a clear winner if the issue is quantification of EDPs, except for low-rise first mode controlled structures in which torsion is not an important consideration. It also will be demonstrated that NSP analysis has much value in understanding important behavior characteristics that are not being explored in a NRHA in which engineers usually focus on a demand/capacity assessment rather than visualization of response. The conclusion is that both NSP and NRHA have intrinsic value and that it is advisable to employ a combination of both to understand seismic performance and quantify important engineering demand parameters.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Nonlinear response
Structural behavior