Seismic design involves two distinct steps — determining (or estimating) the forces that will act on a structure and designing the structure so as to both resist these forces and keep deflections within prescribed limits. This chapter provides a basic explanation of the seismic design of buildings, by first discussing how earthquake forces are caused in buildings and the systems that have been developed to deal with these forces, then reviewing the most common types of buildings and their typical seismic performance, then discussing selected key aspects of seismic design, and, finally, discussing the force-determination aspect currently used in building codes.

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