A framework for estimating the implicit safety level of existing design codes
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Target safety levels ( t ) are key elements for reliability-based design and calibration of design codes. They are derived by monetary optimization or from existing codes. The current article discusses these two approaches and proposes a novel method for estimating t from existing codes, based on a specific optimality assumption. The method leads to implicit target reliabilities lower than the existing code’s mean reliability. It further estimates how much a simplified safety format can increase the cost of structures compared to codes of higher levels, and also can reduce the code’s mean reliability when a more homogeneous safety level is reached through the optimization of the partial safety factors. The results are compared with the ones obtained from another method presented in literature.