U.S. national building codes refer to the ASCE/SEI-7 provisions for selecting and scaling ground motions for use in nonlinear response history analysis of structures. Because the limiting values for the number of records in the ASCE/SEI-7 are based on engineering experience, this study examines the required number of records statistically, such that the scaled records provide accurate, efficient, and consistent estimates of “true” structural responses. Based on elastic–perfectly plastic and bilinear single-degree-of-freedom systems, the ASCE/SEI-7 scaling procedure is applied to 480 sets of ground motions; the number of records in these sets varies from three to ten. As compared to benchmark responses, it is demonstrated that the ASCE/SEI-7 scaling procedure is conservative if fewer than seven ground motions are employed. Utilizing seven or more randomly selected records provides more accurate estimate of the responses. Selecting records based on their spectral shape and design spectral acceleration increases the accuracy and efficiency of the procedure.
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How many records should be used in ASCE/SEI-7 ground motion scaling procedure?