Performance-based features of the recent first European Standard for seismic design of buildings (EN1998-1:2004) and of the final draft European Standard for seismic assessment and retrofitting of buildings (prEN1998-3, May 2004) are reviewed, with emphasis on concrete buildings (EN1998-1:2004) and of the final draft European Standard for seismic assessment and retrofitting of buildings (prEN1998-3, May 2004) are reviewed, with emphasis on concrete buildings. EN1998-1:2004 includes two performance levels: (a) local collapse endangering lives and (b) limitation of damage in structural and non-structural elements. They are meant to be checked under a rare and an occasional earthquake, respectively, with the definition of the associated seismic hazard levels left to the country. Buildings designed for energy dissipation are protected from global collapse under a very rare (but unspecified) earthquake across-theboard application of capacity design to control the inelastic mechanism. The link between the behavior factor q that reduces elastic lateral forces of the (local-) collapse prevention earthquake and member detailing against member collapse is derived. prEN1998-3 provides for 3 performance levels: near collapse, significant damage and limited damage. The country will decide which ones will be checked and may leave the associated hazard level to be chosen by owners. Verification of ductile members is fully deformation-based. The tools for verification of existing, new or retrofitted members are given as expressions for their limit deformations.
Keywords: Earthquake-resistant design; Eurocode 8; Performance-based seismic design; Seismic assessment; Seismic design; Seismic retrofitting.