Research has been undertaken to develop damage curves for reinforced concrete column members. A broad range of parameters that influence the damageability of reinforced concrete columns were investigated using finite element program ANSYS v6.1. Damage curves expressed in terms of interstory drift ratio were developed for three levels of ductility from the results of numerical investigations. The levels of ductility were determined based on the axial load level and the transverse reinforcement ratio. These curves are invaluable for estimating damage level of reinforced concrete frame buildings, which are predominantly used throughout the world, especially in developing countries. In addition, many procedures used to evaluate building performance employ acceptance criteria for the components comprising the whole structure so these curves are also recommended for use in the acceptability of reinforced concrete columns of frame structures. (C) 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.