It is widely accepted that using Performance Based Design (PBD) in lieu of the Prescriptive method on projects results in a significant savings to the owner. In fact many cases projects and/or contracts are won or made possible due to the overall cost savings achieved through PBD.


According to an article written in Structure Magazine, Performance-Based Design with Application to Seismic Hazard Performance-based design has three basic steps, the estimation of hazard, the evaluation of vulnerability, and the computation of consequences.  The three “basic” steps seem simple, however the resistance to Performance Based Design is based on the assumption that the evaluation phase of PBD is complicated, time consuming, and therefore more expensive than Prescriptive methods.


It is clear that a new generation of tools will be required to reduce the complicated and time consuming nature of the evaluation of vulnerabilities.  Software like Applied Science International’s (ASI) Extreme Loading® for Structures (ELS), which enables structural engineers to perform complete seismic analyses to show and ensure structures are designed to resist anticipated seismic events. ELS allows this to be accomplished in a fraction of the time when compared with other Seismic-PBD methods.