The direct displacement based design (DDBD) approach is spreading in the field of seismic design for many types of structures. This paper is carried out to present a robust approach for the DDBD procedure for single degree of freedom (SDOF) concentrically braced frames (CBFs). Special attention is paid to the choice of an equivalent viscous damping (EVD) model that represents the behaviour of a series of full scale shake table tests. The performance of the DDBD methodology of the CBFs is verified by two ways. Firstly, by comparing the DDBD results with a series of full-scale shake table tests. Secondly, by comparing the DDBD results with a quantified nonlinear time history analysis (NLTHA). It is found that the DDBD works relatively well and could predict the base shear forces (F-b) and the required brace cross sectional sizes of the actual values obtained from shake table tests and NLTHA. In other words, when comparing the ratio of Fb estimated from the DDBD to the measured values in shake table tests, the mean and coefficient of variation (CV) are found to be 1.09 and 0.12, respectively. Moreover, the mean and CV of the ratios of Fb estimated from the DDBD to the values obtained from NLTHA are found to be 1.03 and 0.12, respectively. Thus, the DDBD methodology presented in this paper has been shown to give accurate and reliable results.