Seismic risk assessment involves the development of fragility functions to express the relationship between ground motion intensity and damage potential. In evaluating the risk associated with the building inventory in a region, it is essential to capture 'actual' characteristics of the buildings and group them so that 'generic building types' can be generated for further analysis of their damage potential. Variations in building characteristics across regions/countries largely influence the resulting fragility functions, such that building models are unsuitable to be adopted for risk assessment in any other region where a different set of building is present. In this paper, for a given building type (represented in terms of height and structural system), typical New Zealand and US building models are considered to illustrate the differences in structural model parameters and their effects on resulting fragility functions for a set of main-shocks and aftershocks. From this study, the general conclusion is that the methodology and assumptions used to derive basic capacity curve parameters have a considerable influence on fragility curves.