This paper proposes an indicator of seismic performance based on life-cycle cost of a building. It is expressed as a ratio of lifetime damage loss to life-cycle cost and determines the seismic performance of isolated buildings. Major factors are considered, including uncertainty in hazard demand and structural capacity, initial costs, and expected loss during earthquakes. Thus, a high indicator value indicates poor building seismic performance. Moreover, random vibration analysis is conducted to measure structural reliability and evaluate the expected loss and life-cycle cost of isolated buildings. The expected loss of an actual, seven-story isolated hospital building is only 37% of that of a fixed-base building. Furthermore, the indicator of the structural seismic performance of the isolated building is much lower in value than that of the structural seismic performance of the fixed-base building. Therefore, isolated buildings are safer and less risky than fixed-base buildings. The indicator based on life-cycle cost assists owners and engineers in making investment decisions in consideration of structural design, construction, and expected loss. It also helps optimize the balance between building reliability and building investment.
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