A fresh damage approach is proposed for quantitatively estimating seismic damage in reinforced concrete (RC) frame structures. It considers the energy expended by the structure at each instant of lateral deformation to quantify damage in the structure through a simple damage index iE, which is the ratio of nonlinear energy expended at a deformation instant (on the pushover curve) to total nonlinear energy capacity of the structure. three definitions are considered to define damage index iE of the structure. these definitions are applied on pushover curves of two example 6 and 10 story RC bare frame buildings designed as per Indian seismic code. of the three definitions for the damage index iE, one with expended energy concept proved to be most appropriate, which reflects the true meaning of damage.