Incremental dynamic analyses are conducted for a suite of low- and mid-rise reinforced-concrete special moment-resisting frame buildings. Buildings non-conforming and conforming to the strong-column weak-beam (SCWB) design criterion are considered. These buildings are designed for the two most severe seismic zones in India (i.e., zone IV and zone V) following the provisions of Indian Standards. It is observed that buildings non-conforming to the SCWB design criterion lead to an undesirable column failure collapse mechanism. Although yielding of columns cannot be avoided, even for buildings conforming to a SCWB ratio of 1.4, the observed collapse mechanism changes to a beam failure mechanism. This change in collapse mechanism leads to a significant increase in the building’s global ductility capacity, and thereby in collapse capacity. The fragility analysis study of the considered buildings suggests that considering the SCWB design criterion leads to a significant reduction in collapse probability, particularly in the case of mid-rise buildings.