RAM SS V15.08 Release Notes

RAM Structural System CONNECT Edition Update 8 Release 15.08 Release Notes

Release Date: April 17, 2018

This document contains important information regarding changes to the RAM Structural System. It is important that all users are aware of these changes. Please distribute these Release Notes and make them available to all users of the RAM Structural System.

Bentley CONNECT:

Bentley is in the process of requiring all users to sign-in in order to use any Bentley programs. This is being done now in anticipation of the implementation of powerful and customized features intended to better help users perform their jobs. Moving to this sign-in requirement now better facilitates our implementing those new features.

If you do not already have a Bentley ID, go to http://www.bentley.com/profile and select the Sign Up Now link.

Bentley CONNECT already offers several benefits, and the value continues to increase. Listed here are two key features:


When you sign in to your Bentley account you now have easy access to CONNECTION Center. This personalized portal gives you easy access to Usage reports, site configuration information, downloads, and Learning information on webinars, seminars and events, and includes a transcript listing the Bentley courses that you have completed. Your personal portal also lists your recent projects with a portal into analytics on that project. CONNECTION Center can be accessed by selecting the Sign In command in the upper right corner of the RAM Manager screen.


All of Bentley’s CONNECT Edition programs, including RAM Structural System, allow models to be associated with a project. Multiple models, from any of the Bentley products, can be associated with a given project. This simplifies the process of keeping track of work done for a project, and will enable analytics to be performed and reported for the project.

A ProjectWise Projects portal enables you and your project teams to see project details required to evaluate team activity and understand project performance.

When a model is Saved in this version the program will ask for a Project to which the file is to be associated. Projects can be registered (created) from your Personal Portal, or from the Assign Project dialog by selecting the + Register Project command.


Except for minor corrections, the Tutorial Manual has not been updated but is still valid. The appearance of some parts of the program in this version may differ from that shown in the Tutorial.

Important Notices:

This version automatically converts databases created in previous versions to the new database format. Note that a backup file is created automatically when a database is converted; the name of the database is the same, with “Orig” and the version number appended to the name. The file has an extension of “.zip” and is located in the same directory as the original database.

The previous steel tables and load combination templates supplied with the program will be replaced with new tables and templates of the same name. If you have customized any Master or Design tables or load combination templates supplied with the program without changing the file names, those file names should be renamed from the original RAM table names prior to installation to prevent your changes from being lost.

Installation Instructions:

This version can be found on the Bentley Software Fulfilment web page by logging into the Personal Portal or the Enterprise Portal and selecting the Software Downloads icon. Perform a search for “RAM Structural System”, select any of the RAM Structural System modules (e.g., RAM Modeler; they all use the same installer), and select the latest version of the RAM Structural System.

Product Licensing FAQ:

Appendix A at the end of these Notes contains a document describing features available in the RAM Structural System to help prevent inadvertent use of unlicensed modules. Refer to that document for more information.

Security Risk Advisory:

Not applicable to this release. Every effort is made to ensure that there are no security risks in the software. There are no known security issues, no issues were addressed in this version.

New Features and Enhancements:

For details on these new features and enhancements, refer to the manual .pdf files available from the Help menu in each module or from the Manuals folder on your hard drive.

AISC 360-16 Specification for Structural Steel Buildings

The requirements of AISC 360-16 Specification for Structural Steel Buildings have been implemented in RAM Steel Beam, RAM Steel Column, and RAM Frame. In RAM Steel Beam the requirements have been implemented for composite and noncomposite steel beams and cellular and castellated C-Beams. Options for methods to satisfy the new requirement for composite beam design to consider the effect of the ductility of the shear stud connection has been implemented, see the description of the enhancements to Composite Beam Stud Criteria for more information.

AISC 341-16 / AISC 358-16 Seismic Design

The requirements of AISC 341-16 Seismic Provisions for Structural Steel Buildings and AISC 358-16 Prequalified Connections for Special and Intermediate Steel Moment Frames for Seismic Applications for seismic design have been implemented in RAM Frame. Changes include, among others, updates to requirements for width-thickness ratios per Table D1.1 and use of Ecl, the capacity-limited horizontal seismic load effect, rather than Emh, the effect of horizontal forces including overstrength, where appropriate. The implementation is comprehensive and robust.

ASCE 7-16

The requirements of ASCE 7-16 for the automatic generation of Wind loads, Seismic loads, and Response Spectra Analysis have been implemented. 

Creep and Shrinkage Analysis

The Construction Stage Analysis feature introduced in V15.05 has been expanded to give the option to include time-dependent material effects such as creep, shrinkage and elastic modulus changes for concrete members. Time intervals for each stage (i.e. stage duration in days) are specified to carry out a construction stage analysis to consider time-dependent material effects. The user can choose from three different concrete material models: ACI 209R-98, CEB MC90-99, or Model B3. 

Composite Beam Stud Criteria

Several powerful enhancements have been made to the Stud Criteria in RAM Steel Beam.

Previously a Minimum % of Full Composite Allowed could be specified, applicable to all composite beams. Separate Minimum % values can now be specified for beams with Short Spans versus those with Long Spans, and the span length that divides the two. This feature was implemented mainly to provide one method for satisfying the new AISC 360-16 requirement for composite beam design to consider the effect of the ductility of the shear stud connection; the Commentary indicates that one method for doing that is to design beams with spans greater than 30 ft to be at least 50% of full composite. The option is available for all of the Codes, for anyone who desires to specify different minimum values for longer beams versus shorter beams. Note that it is not necessary to specify any minimum % values; the program will automatically satisfy the Code-specified minimums. These options are provided only for those that desire to design to a higher minimum % value.

Previously there was the ability to specify Maximum Stud Spacing, with options to limit the spacing per the Code requirements or to a more stringent value specified by the user, applicable to all composite beams. This has now been split into two sets of options, one for the case of the deck parallel to the beam and one for the case when the deck is not parallel to the beam (perpendicular or at some angle) for which an additional option, maximum spacing equal to Rib Spacing, has been implemented. This latter option will result in a stud in every rib, properly considering the number of ribs that actually cross the beam, whether perpendicular or at some skewed angle. When the deck is perpendicular this option provides another way of satisfying the new AISC 360-16 requirement for composite beam design to consider the effect of the ductility of the shear stud connection; this won’t necessarily satisfy the requirement if the deck is skewed with respect to the beams.

When designing to any of the AISC 360 Specifications there is an option to satisfying the new AISC 360-16 requirement for composite beam design to consider the effect of the ductility of the shear stud connection by enforcing the method given in the Commentary, which indicates that for beams with spans greater than 30 ft the beam must either be at least 50% composite or have shear studs that provide at least 16kip/ft of capacity (roughly one stud per foot). It is recommended that this option be selected, otherwise the user will have to verify some other way that the stud ductility requirement is satisfied. If this option is selected it is not necessary to also specify a Minimum % of 50% for Long Spans nor to specify Maximum Stud Spacing, the program will determine how best to satisfy the requirement automatically. Note that this option will not automatically be selected for existing models, so it is highly recommended that you do so.

Castellated and Cellular Beams

In addition to the implementation of AISC 360-16, the design warnings for Castellated and Cellular C-Beams have been enhanced. For an optimized C-Beam size, if the number of studs required to satisfy a user-specified Minimum Percent Composite or user-specified Maximum Stud Spacing did not fit on the beam (because for example the deck is skewed or the flange is narrow), the program would call for as many studs as would fit but would not warn the user that the user-specified value was not satisfied. The designs satisfied code-required Minimum Percent Composite and maximum stud spacing, but may not have satisfied user-specified values, without warning to the user. Proper warnings are now given (even though no further action is required to meet the requirements of the Specification).

The speed of design of Westok beams has been enhanced substantially.

AISC 341 Buckling Restrained Braced Frames

In addition to the implementation of the updated AISC 341-16 requirements, Sections F4.2 and F4.5 of the Buckling Restrained Braced Frames Report were enhanced to better clarify the design state.

Bentley CONNECT Advisor

Bentley Connect Advisor provides links to valuable resources, including training courses, Bentley Communities articles, and YouTube videos. This feature has been enhanced with more material, filtered to provide more pertinent links. This feature is available under the Bentley Cloud Service menu in the RAM Manager. 

ProjectWise Projects

A new command is available, ProjectWise Projects under the Bentley Cloud Service menu in the RAM Manager, that provides a list of all of the projects that you are associated with. The list provides the Project Number, Name, Asset Type and Location. The items in the list provide a link to the Project Portal for that project, where models and project information can be shared and monitored.

ISM Interoperability

Substantial work has been done to the implementation of ISM and the Structural Synchronizer, including correction of several defects, to make the interoperability with Bentley AECOsim Building Designer, Revit, and Tekla more robust and complete.

Error Corrections:

Some program errors have been corrected for Version 15.08. Corrections made to graphics, reports, Modeler functions, program crashes, etc., that were considered minor are not listed here. The noteworthy error corrections are listed here in order to notify you that they have been corrected or to assist you in determining the impact of those errors on previous designs. These errors were generally obscure and uncommon, affecting only a very small percentage of models, or had no impact on the results. The errors, when they occurred, were generally quite obvious. However, if there is any question, it may be advisable to reanalyze previous models to determine the impact, if any. In each case the error only occurred for the precise conditions indicated. Those errors that may have resulted in un-conservative designs are shown with an asterisk. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Defaults Utility

RAM FRAME GENERAL CRITERIA - EIGENSOLVER SETTING: If the user specified Ritz Vectors as the default for the Eigenvalue Analysis, the program assigned Eigen Vectors (Lanczos) to new models, and vice versa.

Effect: If Eigen Vectors (Subspace Iteration) was specified in the Defaults Utility, new models were correctly assigned that method, but if either Ritz or Lanczos were specified in the Defaults Utility, RAM Frame used the reverse, unless corrected in General Criteria in RAM Frame by the user.

RAM FOUNDATION OPTIMIZATION DEFAULTS: The optimization criteria for RAM Foundation was not saved when set in the Defaults Utility.

Effect: The program defaults, not the user-intended defaults, were used in new models. The optimization criteria had to be changed on a per model basis.

DXF Output

COLUMN AND FOOTING - TEXT OPTIONS: Default values were not displayed when dialog opened.

Effect: Display error only. The error gave the impression that no default values existed for these DXF settings.

COLUMN AND FOOTING CRASH: When a model was predominantly walls, with few or no columns, the program sometimes crashed when attempting to generate the column and footing DXF file.

Effect: Program crash. Incomplete file generated.

3D Viewer

GRID DISPLAY IN 3D VIEW: The 3D viewer only displays the grids associated with the lowest layout type, but if that layout type didn't use the first Grid System in the list the 3D viewer would not show one of the Grid Systems used by that layout type. For example, if the layout type didn't use the first Grid System in the list and used one other Grid System, no grids would display in the 3D view; if the layout type didn't use the first Grid System in the list and used two other Grid Systems, only one of those grid systems would display in the 3D view.

Effect: Display error only, some grids may have been missing in the 3D Views.

STIFFNESS MODIFIER KF FOR GENERIC BUCKLING RESTRAINED BRACES: Using the Buckling Restrained options on the Braces tab of the View - Members command, the Stiffness Modifier KF value did not display for generic buckling restrained braces.

Effect: Could show assigned KF value for CoreBrace and Star Seismic buckling restrained braces, but not for generic buckling restrained braces.

RAM Steel Beam

MAX STUD SPACING WARNING: If the rib spacing is greater than the user-specified Maximum Stud Spacing (such as can occur when the deck is skewed), a message is correctly given that the Max Stud Spacing exceeds the Rib Spacing, but no warning was given to indicate that the maximum spacing wasn't satisfied (because of that). The additional warning is now given, that the stud spacing exceeds the Maximum Stud Spacing.

Effect: In that case the design was correct except that it did not satisfy the user-specified Maximum Stud Spacing. There was a stud in every rib, but the ribs were spaced too far apart to satisfy the criteria.

AISC ASD 9TH PARTIAL STUDS: The View/Update command lists the number of studs corresponding to Full (full composite), Partial (number of studs required to satisfy all requirements), and Actual. In some cases, the values listed for Partial were incorrect based on an error in a calculation related to stud requirements at point loads.

Effect: This was a display error only, it did not affect the actual design. It only occurred for AISC ASD 9th Edition designs, and only on beams with point loads (such as girders supporting other beams).

ASSIGN DEFLECTION CRITERIA IN MODELS IMPORTED FROM ISM: If the user had created several Deflection Criteria sets in the RAM Defaults Utility, only the Default Deflection Criteria was recognized and available to be assigned if the model was created from ISM using "New From Repository".

Effect: Could only assign the Default Deflection Criteria to Concrete/Steel beams for models created by importing a repository. This was a rare defect that would only occur if the user had created multiple Deflection criteria in the RAM Defaults Utility.

RAM Steel Column

AISC 360 Cb AMPLIFICATION*: The provisions of Section H1.2 were applied to singly symmetric sections.

Effect: While the provision for Cb amplification under section H1.2 was intended for doubly symmetric members, the code check process erroneously applied an amplified Cb to singly symmetric sections. Designs for doubly symmetric members were correctly performed.

AISC 360 Cb FOR COMBINED TENSION AND BENDING: The reported Cb for doubly symmetric members subjected to combined tension and bending may have been incorrect

Effect: Doubly symmetric members under combined tension and bending loads were designed using an increased Cb as permitted by AISC 360-05/10 Section H1.2. While the reported capacities were correct, the reported Cb was based on bending alone rather than the increased Cb permitted with axial tension.

RAM Concrete Analysis

INCORRECT LOADS CALCULATED FOR OVERLAPPED SURFACE LOADS ON DECKS*: In case of overlapped surface loads, the program considers the surface load defined last. In some cases, in RAM Concrete - Analysis module the loads calculated for overlapped surface loads were incorrectly resolved. Hence, some loads were missed. This error appears to be very rare and did not generally occur.

Effect: The program may have missed loads related to overlapped surface loads. Incorrect analysis values may have resulted in unconservative designs due to missed loads.

RAM Concrete Beam

BS8110-97 MINIMUM STEEL*: When designing beams to BS 8110, the minimum requirement for tension reinforcement was underestimated if grade 500 steel was used. The requirement in is 0.13%. The minimum percentage used was 0.12%.

Effect: Beams designed to BS 8110 may have been under-designed for conditions outlined above.

ACI SEISMIC SHEAR*: The design shear Ve per ACI 318-11 section requires the consideration of gravity loads. However, the gravity shear was ignored for beams under two way decking when computing Ve per The gravity shear contribution from point loads was also ignored for all beams when computing Ve.

Effect: The seismic shear Ve could have been underestimated if the conditions outlined above were met. This could have affected the final design shear, depending on the design combinations. This affected all ACI design codes.

RAM Concrete Shearwall

ACI 318 COUPLING BEAM SEISMIC SHEAR*: The seismic design shear for coupling beams in walls designed to seismic requirements was based on 1.0 fy (unmagnified steel yield strength) instead of 1.25 fy as stipulated in ACI 318-11

Effect: The seismic component of design shear was underestimated which could have impacted the final design shear. This affected all coupling beams subject to seismic design conditions designed to ACI codes.

SHEAR WALL PMM CURVE*: The force points shown on the P-M and M-M interaction curves in the V/U dialog may have been plotted in the incorrect location on the curve.

Effect: This was a display error limited only to the plot that appears in the V/U dialog; the designs and reports were correct. This applied to all design codes.

MODEL GEOMETRY CHANGES AFFECTING SECTION CUTS *: Some model geometry changes would invalidate the layout of existing section cuts. This resulted in the Concrete Shear Wall module crashing when invoked.

Effect: Concrete Shear Wall would crash on startup.

Note: To fix this problem in existing models, section cuts that cannot be validated when module is invoked are automatically deleted. Deletions are shown in a startup status dialog.

RAM Frame – Analysis

CONSTRUCTION STAGE ANALYSIS FOR MODEL WITH TENSION-ONLY MEMBERS*: The program mishandled tension-only members during a construction stage analysis (similar to gravity analysis, tension-only members are not included in construction stage analysis).

Effect: Analysis results for constructions stage load case were not correct for model with tension-only member included.

RESPONSE SPECTRA MODAL COMBINATION SELECTION: The Modal Combination option (SRSS vs CQC) used in analysis may not have been the one selected in the load case dialog. The option used by the program was correctly shown in the report but it may not have been the one selected by the engineer. This defect affected only the following response spectra load cases: China GB50011-2001, AS 1170.4-2007, NBC of Canada 2005, 2010, and IS 7893:2002, 2016.

Effect: The Modal Combination option used in analysis may not have been the one specified by the user for the load case. The report correctly showed which option was used in analysis.

DIAPHRAGM SECTION FORCES FOR MODELS WITH ARBITRARY OPENING GEOMETRY: The program produced an error (or did not show diaphragm forces) for a user-defined cross-section cut line that was placed over an opening with arbitrary geometry (i.e., defined with more than 4 vertices). If opening geometry is defined with 4 vertices, this defect does not occur.

Effect: The report for diaphragm forces is not produced for a cross-section that is defined over an opening with arbitrary geometry.

SHEAR WALL FORCES MODE: The program would crash if a wall with a saved section-cut was deleted.

Effect: Could not select RAM Frame Shear Wall Forces mode.

RAM Frame – Steel Standard Provisions

IS 800-07 Cmz AND Cmlt*: The reported Cmz and Cmlt values were erroneous for some member designs performed according to the IS 800-07 specification.

Effect: Incorrect Cmz and Cmlt values were used and reported for some member designs.

AISC 360 HANGER DESIGN MOMENTS FOR TEES: For AISC 360-05 and 360-10, the design moment for Tee hanging columns carried signs that were inconsistent with the face of the member under compression.

Effect: Report error only. The reported moment capacity for Tee hangers designed according to AISC 360-05 and 360-10 were correct but the sign on the reported moments were not consistent with the face of the T-section under compression.

IS 800-07 LATERAL TORSIONAL BUCKLING CAPACITY*: The Lateral Torsional Buckling check for members designed according to the IS 800-07 Specification may have been incorrect if the LTB length exceeded the unbraced length of the member about the major axis.

Effect: For members designed according to IS 800-07 and subjected to lateral torsional buckling, the unbraced length in the major axis was erroneously used in lieu of the LTB length. The flexural capacity reported may have been incorrect if the LTB length exceeded the unbraced length in the major axis.

RAM Frame – Steel Seismic Provisions

AISC 341-10 SCCS - E6.5a PASS / FAIL STATUS*: SCCS Columns failing section E6.5a of the AISC 341-10 Specification were not correctly noted as failed in the design report.

Effect: SCCS Columns designed according to AISC 341-10 failing Section E6.5a were not correctly flagged as failed. While the correct limits for Basic Requirements per Table D1.1 were reported, the OK / NG status for the check was incorrect in the report.

ISM / Structural Synchronizer

Several ISM defects were corrected, in addition to those described below. These include program crashes, complicated geometries, and errors associated with models with peculiar conditions. The interoperability through ISM is more robust in this version.

ISM IMPORT OF REVIT MODELS WITH SLOPING FRAMING: For models originating in Revit, sloping framing may not have imported accurately.

Effect: Beams would not have correct story assignments.

EXTRANEAOUS STORIES IN IMPORTED MODELS: For an ISM repository created from a program devoid of defined “stories”, the program attempts to create stories for import by scanning the model for unique Z value (elevation) and creating stories based off of these. When the model had numerous framing members at end points at different elevations, it could result in excessive stories created automatically. A hardcoded 12-inch tolerance has been added for successive story elevations, to minimize excessive creation of stories. This is a temporary imperfect solution and will be enhanced in future releases.

Effect: Extraneous layout types were created that included framing members intended to be part of a larger layout type.

ORTHOGONAL GRID EXTENTS: If the Extents of Orthogonal grids were defined using the Limit to Minimum or Limit to Maximum options, these limits were lost when the model was updated from a repository.

Effect: User-specified limits on extents of grids were lost, the grids were shown full length across the layout.

REPORTED CHANGES: When a model was updated, Structural Synchronizer may not have identified and flagged all of the changes from the previous model, especially for models with coordinate mappings.

Effect: Changes between versions of a model may not have all been flagged.

BRACE PROPERTIES: Some brace properties may have been corrupted when an model was imported or updated.

Effect: Properties lost, needed to be reassigned in the Modeler. The error was obvious when it occurred, an error message was given indicating a data error.

CANTILEVERS: Beam segments identified as cantilevers in Revit may not have imported correctly as cantilevers.

Effect: Cantilevers may not have been correctly imported as such.

Appendix A

Product Licensing FAQ – RAM Structural System

Licensing Options

The RAM Structural System is composed of several modules, each of which has their own licenses. The program also contains links to two related Bentley products, RAM Concept and RAM Connection, providing design interoperability, as well as a link to Bentley’s ProjectWise for project management. Each of those programs also have their own licenses. It is possible to have several licenses of one or more modules, and few or no licenses of other modules. Because of the ease with which these various modules and programs can be invoked, a method of restricting the use of each has been incorporated in order to prevent unwanted or inadvertent usage by an unsuspecting user from being logged against the licenses that the company actually owns.

These modules are invoked using the tool bar buttons on the left of the RAM Manager screen or by using the Model or Design menu items.

If RAM Concept or RAM Connection are not installed, they will not be available to be selected.

There is no license associated with RAM Manager, so no usage data is logged against it, but usage data is logged against each of the other modules as soon as they are invoked.

There is no demo version available for the RAM Structural System modules.



In RAM Manager, the Tools – Manage License Restrictions command opens the RAM Structural System Allowed Modules dialog.This provides a mechanism for the user to prevent a module from being inadvertently executed. When the program is first installed all of these options are selected. It is important therefore to execute this command and deselect any modules or links for which the user wants to restrict access.

To prevent a module or program link from being executed, deselect that item.

If a module is deselected here and that module or link is subsequently invoked, a message is given allowing you to proceed or cancel.

If Allow is selected the module will open, and usage will be logged. If Cancel is selected the module will not open and no usage will be logged. Settings opens the previous command, allowing the user to modify the selections of the allowed modules.



Versions prior to V14.07 lacked the ability to manage these license restrictions, restrictions could only be achieved by deleting the module from the installation Prog directory. If you are using an earlier version and want to prevent use of a module, delete the file(s) listed here for the module to be prevented:

RAM Steel:

RamBeam.exe, RAMColumn.dll

RAM Concrete:

RAMConcAnalysis.dll, RAMConcreteBeam.dll, RAMConcreteColumn.dll, RAMConcreteShearWall.dll

RAM Frame Analysis:


RAM Foundation: