Theory of structures and design codes




failure probability, partial safety factors, limit state, design codes


Building structures should correspond to the reliability requirements which are implemented with the help of design codes. The latter are based on the method of limit states. In order to simplify the verifications, the design codes often deliberately deviate from the scientifically based theoretical provisions of such fundamental disciplines as the theory of elasticity and the theory of plasticity, replacing them with the so-called working practices. The paper presents that there are inaccurately formulated recommendations in the design codes. The paper also specifies on some important problems that are not reflected in the design codes. This applies to the choice of failure probability values, the use of partial reliability factors, the calculation methodology in case of an emergency, the problems of using the results of nonlinear calculation, etc.

The paper presents some considerations on these issues, with the main attention being paid to the analysis of the existing design tradition and guidance to unresolved issues. The problems of recommended reliability parameters, clarification of the limit state concepts, analysis of accidental situations, the safety factors values and possible relationship between the safety factors for load and the safety factors for materials, loads and load effects, vulnerability assessment as well as reliability of protected systems have been considered.

The considerations presented by the paper give only a partial idea of the range of issues that arise when comparing working practices used in the design codes with the theoretical fundamentals they should correspond to. It should also be noted that the design codes do not provide any justifications for their recommendations. The presented paper can initiate a scientific discussion and be useful both for the developers of design codes and for the developers of software packages implemented the design codes.

Author Biography

Anatolii Perelmuter, Kyiv National University of Construction and Architecture, SCAD Soft Ltd

Doctor of Technical Science, Senior Staff Scientist


ASCE SE17-16. Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and other Structures. – Reston, VA, USA, American Society of Civil Engineering, 2017.

Diamantidis D., Sykora M. Reliability Differentiation and Uniform Risk in Standards: a Critical Review and Practical Appraisal // Future Tends in Civil Engineering – Zagreb, Croatia, 2019. – Р. 59–78.

Ditlevsen О. The Structural System reliability Problem, Qualitative Considerations of Reliability and Risk Analysis // Civil Engineering, NC Lind (ed.), Institute for risk research, University of Waterloo,, 1987, Р. 1–11

Ellingwood B. Acceptable risk bases for design of structures // Progress in Struct. Eng. and Mat. 3(2). – 2001. – P. 170 - 179.

EN 1990. Basis of Structural Design. – Eurocode European Committee for Standardization, 2002.

FEMA 273. Federal Emergency Management Agency. NEHRP Guidelines for the Seismic Rehabilitation of Buildings, Washington, D.C. – October, 1997.

Frank R., Bauduin C., Driscoll R et al. Designer’s guide to EN 1997-1, Eurocode 7: Geotechnical design  London: ICE Publishing, 2004  232 p.

Gavrilenko I., Girenko S., Perelmuter A., Perelmuter M., Yurchenko V. Load-bearing capacity as an interactive analysis tool in SCAD Office // Proceding of the METNET Seminar 2017 in Cottbus  Hämeelinna: HAMK, 2017 P. 112-127.

GSA «Alternate path analysis & design guidelines for progressive collapse resistance», October 2016.

ISO 2394:2015. General principles on reliability for structures – International Organization for Standardization, 2015.

Lin H., Yang L., Chen G.M. et al. A novel methodology for structural robustness assessment of offshore platforms in progressive collapse // Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries, 2019, Vol. 62, Paper 103966.

Lu D., Song P.Yu. Global seismic Reliability Analysis of Building Structures based on System / D. Lu, // Level Limit States / Oct. 12- 17, 2008. – Bijing, China.

Madsen H.O. Model Updating in Reliability Theory // «Reliability and Risk Analysis in Civil Engineering», Proceedings of ICASP 5, Lind N.C. (Ed.), Institute for risk research, University of Waterloo, Vol. 1, 1987, Р. 564–577.

Perelmuter A.V. Strength analysis in regulatory design documents and computational software // Strength of Materials and Theory of Structures, 2020, № 104  P. 90-103.

Perelmuter A.V., Veriuzhska T.Y. Optimization of the overload-protection degree // Engineering Optimization IV  London: Taylor & Francis Group, 2014.  P. 529–532.

Stewart M.G., Melchers R.E. Probabilistic risk assessment of engineering systems // Chapman & Hall, London. – 1997.

UFC 4-023-03 (Including Change 3, 2016) «Unified facilities criteria. Design of buildings to resist progressive collapse».

Vrouwenvelder, A.C. Developments towards full probabilistic design codes / Struct. Safety, 24, 2002. – Р. 417–432.

Yi Li, Xinzheng Lu, Hong Guan, Peiqi Ren, Lanping Qian. Probability-based progressive collapse-resistant assessment for reinforced concrete frame structures // Advances in Structural Engineering, 2016, Vol.: 19 issue: 11 — P.: 1723-1735.

Anilovich V.Ya., Lupandina A.P. Protection Theory Used to Ensure the Reliability of Machines, // Reliability and Durability of Machines and Structures, Issue. 13. – Kyiv: Naukova Dumka, 1988. — P. 1-8.

DBN V.1.2-14:2018. General Principles of Reliability and Structural Safety of Buildings and Structures — Kyiv: Ministry of Regional Development, Building and Housing of Ukraine, 2018.— 30 p.

Perelmuter A.V. Using the Criterion of Resistibility to Assess the Structural Limit State. // Vestnik MGSU, Volume 16, Issue 12  С.1419-1426. DOI: 10.22227/1997-0935.2021.12.0000-0000.

Perelmuter A.V. Statistical Modeling of Crane Loads and Design Combinations of Forces // International Journal for Computational Civil and Structural Engineering, 2017. Vol. 13, No 2.— P. 136-144.

Perelmuter A.V., Pichugin S.F. On One Safety Characteristic of Buildings // Steel Structures, 2014, Volume 20, No. 2 ─ P. 109–117.

Perelmuter A.V., Tur V.V. Are We Ready to Move on to Nonlinear Analysis in Design? // International Journal for Computational Civil and Structural Engineering, 2017. Vol. 13, No. 3 — P. 86-102.

Rzhanitsyn A.R. Theory of Reliability Analysis of Structures Moscow: Stroyizdat, 1978. 239 p.

SP 296.1325800.2017. Buildings and Structures. Accidental Actions Moscow: Standartinform, 2017 — 23 p.

SP 385.1325800.2018. Protection of Buildings and Structures Against Progressive Collapse. Design Code. Basic Statements — Moscow: Standartinform, 2018 — 19 p.

Streletsky N.S. Importance of Working Practices in the Structural Analysis // Izvestiya Vuzov. Construction and Architecture, 1960, No. 5.

Frank R., Bauduin C., Driscoll R., Kavvadas M., Krebs Ovesen N., Orr T., Schuppener B. Designers’ Guide to EN 1997-1 Eurocode 7: Geotechnical Design General Rules — Thomas Telford, London, 2005. — 213 p.