Abstract This paper presents a new approach to perform incremental dynamic analyses on reinforced concrete buildings using the so-called hybrid discretizations, taking advantage of parallelized computations and domain decomposition techniques to enhance the capability and performance for the analysis of large-scale problems. The concept of hybrid discretization consists in the combination of different modelling approaches for the three-dimensional structural elements. Where most of the non-linear phenomena are expected to occur, refined meshes and more complex constitutive relations are adopted. Elsewhere, simplified structural models are considered. Special attention is devoted to the definition of adequate techniques to treat the transition zones between different structural models. The efficiency and accuracy of alternative kinematic constraint techniques are studied and assessed. The paper ends with two validation examples that test the accuracy and the computational performance of the proposed methodology.