A new methodology for the calculation of the risk-targeted design peak ground acceleration has been proposed. The closed-form solution of this methodology provides a useful insight into the relationships between seismic risk, the return period of the design earthquake, the strength and deformation capacity of the building. It can thus provide a basis for the derivation of risk-targeted behaviour factor, which can be used to explain the so-called empirical component of the conventional behaviour factor. The first part of the dissertation clearly shows that, in order to achieve adequate collapse safety of new buildings, the value of the behaviour factor should be much smaller than the product of overstrength and ductility reduction factor. This new definition of the behaviour factor thus allows for more rational decisions about what the adequate values of the behaviour factor are, and better estimations of the behaviour factor for a selected collapse risk. This was demonstrated for the case of a reinforced concrete frame building with prescribed ductility class medium. It is demonstrated for the building in question that the behaviour factor pursuant to Eurocode 8 nearly corresponds to a target collapse risk of 5∙10-5. The second part of dissertation explores the impact of design factors on the seismic response of structures. It was shown for the analysed structures that those design factors, which are usually derived upon extensive consideration by the designer, often only have a small impact on the seismic performance of a structure. On the other hand, the application of simple design factors (e.g. design values of the material characteristics) can significantly improve the calculated seismic response of a structure, even though some designers are not even aware of these design factors. This suggests that standards dealing with earthquake-resistant design of buildings could perhaps be modernized. In the last part of the dissertation, some possible approaches to the calculation of design shear forces were examined based on target reliability and nonlinear dynamic analysis. It was found that the shear failure of columns has to be prevented in order to ensure that the impact of this type of failure is neglectable in the context of collapse risk. This confirms the adequacy of the capacity design approach. However, it is discussed that shear failure of columns designed in line with Eurocode 8 is sometimes prevented due to minimum requirements for shear reinforcement and not due to the design shear force, which is estimated on the basis of the capacity design approach. Hence, a methodology was proposed for the estimation of design shear forces based on incremental dynamic analysis. It was shown that merely a few carefully selected ground motions can suffice to estimate the maximum shear forces in columns.