A total of 18 different components of earthquake ground motion recorded in Central America were selected to conduct
an evaluation oftheir damage potential. Emphasis was placed in ground motions recorded during recent seismic activity in
Costa Rica. For the purpose of comparison, five records obtained in different parts ofthe world were included in the study. As
a mean ofidentif)'ing the damage potential ofthe records, the input energy as well as the plastic hysteretic energy speCtra were
calculated for different levels of displacement ductility and a viscous damping coefficient ~=0.05. The effect of duration of
ground motion was studied by introducing the non dimensional parametery and the target ductility μTAR. The parametery
is a function of the maximum displacement and the plastic hysteretic energy dissipation demands. The calculations were
performed for single-degree-of-freedom systems with an elastoplastic hysteretic behavior. Other response quantities considered
were the constant strength ductility demands and constant ductility strength demands. The results are contrasted with
the current seismic design recommendations for the region as presented in the latest building codes available.
Palabras clave: damage, earthquake, ground motion, seismic design