The response of buildings to earthquake is affected by the soil surrounding the below grade portion of the structure, or supporting the foundation. A common seismic design approach is to neglect the soil and analyze the entire free-standing structure for its response to earthquake ground motion applied at the foundation. Soil-structure interaction (SSI) effects are not considered in routine design. Concerns have been expressed whether the foregoing approach is acceptable. The analytical research undertaken in this thesis evaluates the response of shear wall buildings with towers of variable heights, but with a five-level below-grade parkade in Vancouver. The analysis provides insight into the effects of the inertial and kinematic components of SSI, and the results are compared with the traditional approach. The results illustrated that there is magnification in seismic response with SSI, and the effect depends on various parameters. Therefore, ignoring SSI may lead to unsafe design.