Approximation methods such as the response surface method (RSM) are widely used to alleviate the computational burden of engineering analyses. For reliability analysis, the common approach in the RSM is to use regression methods based on least square methods. However, for structural reliability problems, RSMs should approximate the performance function around the design point where its value is close, to zero. Therefore, in this study, a new response surface called ADAPRES is proposed. in which a weighted regression method is applied in place of normal regression. The experimental points are also selected from the region where the design point is most likely to exist. Examples are given to demonstrate the benefit of the proposed method for both numerical and implicit performance functions. (C) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.