RAM SS V15.03 Release Notes

RAM Structural System CONNECT Edition Update 3 Release 15.03

Release Notes


Release Date: August 18, 2016


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.



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:

Version 15.02 automatically converts databases created in previous versions older than V15.00 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 CONNECTION Center 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.


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.


Response Spectra Analysis Results on Foundations

For loads resulting from a Response Spectra Analysis, the RAM Foundation module has been enhanced to use the combined modal reactions directly on the foundations, rather than taking the reactions from combined modal forces in the members supported by the foundations. The loads on the foundations will be slightly different than previously. The Foundation Loads report in RAM Manager has similarly been enhanced to use the combined modal reactions.


Steel Beam Design Summary Report

For the AISC design codes the Steel Beam Design Summary report has been enhanced to show design moment capacity (e.g., phiMn) rather than the nominal moment capacity (e.g., Mn).


Crossing Continuous Footings

When two continuous footings were modeled such that they crossed each other, and one or both of those footings supported a wall at that location, the full wall loads were applied to the footing parallel to that wall, but a portion of that wall load was also applied to the transverse footing, proportional to the amount of wall crossing that transverse footing. This has been simplified such that the full wall load is still applied to the footing parallel to that wall, but no portion of the wall load is applied to the transverse footing.


SidePlate Property Table

The property table used in the SidePlate feature was updated to include additional UB shapes (used in the UK).


Error Corrections:

Some program errors have been corrected for Version 15.03. 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.



STEEL COLUMN SCHEDULE: Columns were always listed in the schedule based on Coordinates even if the options to group and order by Quantity or Weight were selected.

Effect: Order of the columns listed in the column schedule may not have been what the user had specified.


FRAME ELEVATIONS: In RAM Frame, when exporting frame elevations to a DXF file, the program would crash if more than one frame was selected for import.

Effect: Only one frame could be exported into a DXF file, otherwise the program would crash.


CONCRETE BEAM SCHEDULE*: Some required bars may have been missing from the concrete beam schedule.

Effect: Incorrect reinforcement. The affected bars were those that began or ended right at a support.


 RAM Steel Beam

EUROCODE SECTION CLASSIFICATION*: For noncomposite design and for precomposite design of composite beams the sections were always classified as Class 1.

Effect: Moment capacity of beams was always based on that for Class 1 beams.


MODEL REFRAME: When Modeler changes were made to existing models, the number of segments for frozen girder designs was ignored and subsequent design checks resulted in a uniform stud design for the girder.

Effect: Redesign of frozen girder sizes resulted in uniform stud designs rather than previously saved segmented stud design. Girders that previously passed designs may have failed.


GIRDERS WITH UNIFORM STUD DESIGN: After an initial stud design had been frozen either through the Freeze or Update Database command, girders with more than five stud segments designed with a uniform stud distribution gave erroneous design messages when an Analyze was subsequently performed.

Effect: Although the initial frozen uniform stud design for girders with more than five segments was correctly performed, subsequent stud count investigations for the frozen girder may have resulted in erroneous design messages even for stud counts less than the reported maximum number of studs the girder could support. Girders that may have otherwise passed designs failed.


DESIGN WARNINGS*: The number of design warnings between the Design All and Freeze All processes were inconsistent, and may have differed.

Effect: Although design checks were correct, the reported warnings differed between a Design All and Freeze All process. The differences resulted from warnings issued during an Analyze process for composite beams which could not be designed and hence had zero studs and warnings issued for the same beams during an Optimization of studs process. In some cases warnings that should have been given were not (although note that those beams would work as noncomposite beams).

Note: Clear all designs and sizes and re-optimize to correct the error in models where this is occurring.


RAM Steel Column

MULTI-STORY COLUMN DESIGN SHEAR: Design shears for column segments in a multi-story column stack, where intermediate story moments were determined via interpolation (i.e., there is nothing bracing the column against sidesway at that particular Story), were incorrectly determined.

Effect: Although design moments for column segments in a multi-story column stack were correct, the associated design shears resulting from design moments applied to the segments were incorrect.


ELEVATION VIEW: When in an Elevation view, selecting a column with the View/Update command would sometimes not pick the column that was displayed in the view, but rather one which was spatially "in front" of the view.

Effect: Unintended column may have been selected with the View/Update command.


RAM Concrete Beam

ACI IMF SEISMIC DESIGN*: When designing beams designated as part of an IMF system under the ACI codes, the earthquake shear force amplification factor specified in ACI 318-02 21.12.3(b) (and analogous clauses in other ACI codes), was not implemented.

Effect: Combinations including E effects were underestimated.


ACI SHEAR DESIGN*: When designing beams to the ACI design code, the minimum Av requirement could in some cases have been underestimated when the factored design shear lied between 0.5fVc and fVc.

Effect: Potentially inadequate shear reinforcement if minimum reinforcement controlled.


ACI SHEAR DESIGN: The reported value of Asv,req was in some instances higher than the actual required value when using the ACI design code.

Effect: Potentially conservative shear design.


ACI SHEAR DESIGN WARNINGS: When designing per one of the ACI codes, the program occasionally reported warnings that the shear capacity had been exceeded, when this was not the case.

Effect: Shear design warnings may have been given even when the shear strength was adequate.


ACI SMF AND IMF SHEAR DESIGN: Design shears used to check SMF and IMF may have been calculated incorrectly (conservative); the Dead Load component may have been handled incorrectly.

Effect: Potentially conservative shear design for SMF and IMF.


ACI SMF BEAM SHEAR CAPACITY*: The shear capacity of lateral beams designed to SMF provisions may have been overestimated by including the contribution of Vc when this is precluded by ACI 318-11 clause (and similar clauses in previous versions).

Effect: Shear capacity of SMF beams may have been overestimated.


RAM Concrete Column

CONCRETE COLUMN DESIGN: A View/Update or Design All would frequently result in the program freezing and/or crashing in models with more than eight or nine stories.

Effect: Designs couldn’t be performed on taller models.


AS 3600-09 BUCKLING MOMENT: The reported value for the buckling moment, Mc, may have been incorrect (conservative). All of the load was apportioned to the sustained load component, G, in the calculation of Mc.

Effect: Conservative values of Mc were calculated and used in design.


RAM Frame – Analysis

STAR SEISMIC BRB: When picking a different Star Seismic size in the Assign Size command the dialog would switch back to WildCat even if the user had specified PowerCat previously, if the size was available with WildCat connection type.

Effect: No impact on assignments; if the user picked PowerCat and then did an assign, the assign would correctly be PowerCat.


COPY AND PASTE: The Copy and Paste buttons and commands did not work in the User-defined Story Force dialog and the Drift at Control Points dialog.

Effect: Values had to be entered manually; couldn’t be pasted in.


RAM Frame – Steel Standard Provisions

EUROCODE SECTION CLASSIFICATION*: For beams with no axial design load the sections were always classified as Class 1.

Effect: Moment capacity of beams was always based on that for Class 1 beams if they had no axial load.