In most buildings’ seismic design codes design basis peak ground acceleration (PGADBE) is provided by employing a uniform-hazard approach. However, a new trend in updating seismic codes is to adopt a risk-informed method to estimate the PGADBE so-called risk-adjusted design basis peak ground acceleration (PGARDBE). An attempt is made here to examine the adequacy of the PGARDBE to fulfill the assumptions made in seismic codes for converting the maximum considered earthquake’s (MCE) intensity to PGADBE. To this end, the performance of regular intermediate steel moment frames (IMF) is assessed in terms of collapse margin (CMR) and residual drift ratios in the event of MCE and design basis earthquake (DBE), respectively. The PGARDBEs are computed for Karaj County, Iran. A set of 96 index archetypes of regular IMF are designed considering four design parameters, which include the number of stories (2, 3, 6, 9, 12, and 15), span lengths (4 and 8 meters), occupancies (residential and commercial), and seismic demands (0.15, 0.25, 0.35 and 0.45g). The PGADBE prescribed by Standard No. 2800 for Karaj neither meets the assumed acceptance criteria nor stands on the safe side. Meanwhile, PGARDBE fulfills the acceptance criteria but does not necessarily satisfy the implicit assumption made in codes that the code-conforming buildings have at least a CMR of 1.5 if the MCE occurs. This emphasizes that the PGARDBE should not be used without examining the CMR fulfillment. The results recommend that a lower limit need to be set on PGARDBEs, which is found to be 0.35g for Karaj. Outcomes also reveal that the code-conforming buildings designed with the proposed PGARDBE can fulfill both repairability and life safety performances at the DBE and MCE, respectively. These buildings also have a high chance to be even considered as repairable ones at the seismic demand of MCE. Furthermore, regardless of the employed method for estimating PGADBE, various relationships between design parameters with different performance indicators such as CMR, residual drift ratio, ductility demand, imposed drift ratio, and building’s normalized weight are presented. These relationships can be used to evaluate the buildings’ safety factor against collapse and repairability, justification of using IMF in regions with high seismicity, level of structural and nonstructural damage as well as the economic consequence of changes in PGADBE. The presented relationships provide a multi-criteria decision-making tool to decide on the optimum PGADBE leading to an affordable alternative and tolerable damage.