An alternative approach to predicting seismic performance evaluation of buildings is presented in this study. The procedure is based on an evaluation of the Column Index (CI) that is defined by taking into account parameters such as the weight of the building and bending rigidity in two directions of the columns. The procedure is calibrated, and the threshold values of the CI is evaluated by considering seismic performance of several model buildings designed with the following requirements and by using the advanced nonlinear techniques regarding the Turkish Earthquake Code. According to the proposed procedure, a building satisfies life safety performance level when the CI of the building is smaller than the corresponding threshold value. To determine the threshold values of the CI of the proposed procedure and its sensitivity on the parameters considered, a large number of residential buildings having various structural configurations, story heights, span numbers in two directions, concrete strength, and steel yield stress are selected and designed so that they satisfy the requirements at a minimum level. The accuracy of the proposed procedure is examined on the existing buildings, and it is found that the procedure has a predictive power of 82% and 94% depending on material quality.