In this paper, an optimal design process for high-rise building structures is presented based on cost-effectiveness criterion. Then, an optimal design of a complex high-rise building based on cost-effectiveness criterion is carried out by using the design process. A minimum life cycle cost and corresponding elastic inter story drift considering initial cost and damage cost as two separate objective functions are obtained by using genetic algorithm. Finally, fitting curves of life cycle cost, initial cost, damage cost and corresponding performance indexes are interpolated by using one-dimensional linear interpolation considering elastic inter story drift ratio as control performance indexes. And lots of life cycle cost designs and corresponding performance indexes of the separated objective function are given. The results show that the optimal design process is practical and optimal results are diverse, and can be chosen flexibly by owners.