Shear-wall dominant multistorey reinforced concrete structures, constructed by using a special tunnel form technique are commonly built in countries facing a substantial seismic risk, such as Chile, Japan, Italy and Turkey. In spite of their high resistance to earthquake excitations, current seismic code provisions including the Uniform Building Code (International Conference of Building Officials, Whittier, CA, 1997) and the Turkish Seismic Code (Specification for Structures to be Built in Disaster Areas, Ankara, Turkey, 1998) present limited information for their design criteria. In this study, consistency of equations in those seismic codes related to their dynamic properties are investigated and it is observed that the given empirical equations for prediction of fundamental periods of this specific type of structures yield inaccurate results. For that reason, a total of 80 different building configurations were analysed by using three-dimensional finite-element modelling and a set of new empirical equations was proposed. The results of the analyses demonstrate that given formulas including new parameters provide accurate predictions for the broad range of different architectural configurations, roof heights and shear-wall distributions, and may be used as an efficient tool for the implicit design of these structures. Copyright (C) 2003 John Wiley Sons, Ltd.