I have some background only in performance-based structural/seismic evaluation and design of buildings. I do think in wind design performance-based design (PBD) is already being done for tall buildings particularly those which undergo wind climate studies and wind tunnel testing for structural loading, cladding design, and occupant comfort checking. This is how I see what PBD is in general, to apply to any field (and it is just what I think).
PBD is how design should really be!
PBD I believe is selecting the most rational design approach available, using design and analysis techniques that are founded more on fundamentals of physics, engineering, mathematics/statistics/probability, and other sciences.
I think we just didn't have the same tools nor the time available years ago to actually do PBD and that is why professionals have resorted to following certain standards (i.e. codes) that is usually based on the research available at the time (which is of course not as much as there is today) and on the collective approval by the practitioners and researchers in that industry (e.g. by ASCE, ACI, AISC in the US for structural design of concrete and steel structures, etc.).
We have been comparing PBD against "code-based design," but I see code-based design ("CBD") as simply a simplification of PBD. I would look at "CBD" as following a set minimum standards for design or
construction/implementation which has been mandated by law. We just needed to meet the codes for legal compliance.
We offer to do PBD because it is just more correct (more rational)!
We offer to do PBD in general because it leads to cost savings either because of the more detailed analyses or of having to avoid costly rectification works in the future because of following the simplifications in codes.
I am also stating this because I think in the future with more and more powerful tools available coming about that enable more and more of us to do PBD, PBD may well be set as the minimum standard in future codes.
In the future, CBD could become synonymous with PBD!