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THIS PAPER DESCRIBES A THREE-LEVEL PERFORMANCE-BASED OPTIMIZATION MODEL AND AN ESTIMATE METHOD OF RESIDUAL TOP DISPLACEMENT FOR STEEL FRAMES AT THREE EARTHQUAKE LEVELS. THE STEEL FRAMES ARE ELASTIC AT FRE-QUENT EARTHQUAKE, INELASTIC AND HARDENING AT OCCASIONAL AND RARE EARTHQUAKES. THE ESTIMATE FORMULA IS DERIVED AND ESTIMATE PROCEDURE IS GIVEN IN DETAIL. THE ESTIMATE METHOD NEEDS TO DEMONSTRATE A PUSHO-VER ANALYSIS UNTIL STEEL FRAMES YIELD. THE YIELD POINT IS OBTAINED AUTO-MATICALLY IN THE PROPOSED METHOD. THE ESTIMATE METHOD MAKES OPTI-MIZATION PROCESS UNINTERRUPTED. OPTIMAL DESIGN OF A 3-STORY 2-BAY STEEL FRAME IS DEMONSTRATED USING THE PROPOSED METHOD.
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