RAM SS V15.02 Release Notes

RAM Structural System CONNECT Edition Update 2 Release 15.02

Release Notes


Release Date: June 3 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 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.


Update Notification

You will automatically be notified when new updates are available, with the option to install the update.


SCI Publication P405 Modifications to EN 1994-1-1

An option has been added in RAM Steel Beam module to use the SCI P405 rules for the calculation of minimum shear connection when the Eurocode is selected as the beam design code.


EN 1993-1-1:2005+A1:2014 Eurocode Steel Design amendments

It has been verified that the program conforms to the requirements of the 2014 Amendment 1 of EN 1993-1-1:2005. No additional update was needed to the program to conform to the Amendment.


Slab Out-of-Plane Stiffness

Two new options have been added in RAM Frame allowing the user to specify whether or not the out-of-plane stiffness of the slabs is to be included in the analysis of the lateral load cases. If selected, the slabs will act as flexural members between walls and frames.


ASCE 7-10 Minimum Design Wind Loads

In the ASCE 7-10 Wind Load generation command an option has been added allowing the user to suppress consideration of the 16 psf minimum wind pressure given in Errata Section 27.1.5. For member design this option should not be selected, but in the investigation of wind drift some engineers use wind loads with a short recurrence interval in which case it may be desirable to suppress consideration of that minimum wind pressure.


Drift Calculations for Points on Flexible and Pseudo-flexible Diaphragms

Using the Process – Results – Drift commands the drift at any point on a Rigid or Semi-rigid diaphragm can be reported. Since there is no way to calculate the drift at any given point for Pseudo-flexible diaphragms, previously the program was reporting the drift on Pseudo-flexible diaphragms based on the average displacement of all of the frame nodes within the diaphragm boundary. Since this may have been unconservative this has now been changed to report the drift at that level based on the maximum nodal displacement at that level. This capability has also been extended to Flexible diaphragms which previously merely reported 0.0. When using these values (for Flexible and Pseudo-flexible diaphragms) remember that they are not necessarily the drift value at the specified point on the diaphragm but are merely (conservatively) based on the worst nodal deflection value on that story. In addition to impacting the values reported for Drift, these changes may impact the values reported for ASCE 7 Stability coefficients and AISC B2 values.


Job Name

The Job Name can now be added or edited using the File – Job Name command in the RAM Manager.


SJI Virtual Joist Tables

Steel tables containing the Steel Joist Institute Virtual Joists have been added. Previously the Virtual Joist Girder tables were added. A new Master table called RAMAISCwithVJandVJG.tab is now available. This Master table includes all of the traditional AISC shapes as well as the Virtual Joist and Virtual Joist Girder sizes. A new Steel Beam design table called RAMVJ.bms is also now available; it contains the Virtual Joist sizes and should be used for joists. The RAMVJG.bms table was added previously; it contains the Virtual Joist Girder sizes and should be used for girders. Information on the use of the Virtual Joist Girder tables can be found on Bentley Communities at: http://communities.bentley.com; search for “virtual joist”, and see the article called: Using SJI Virtual Joist Girder Tables in the RAM Structural System. The use of the Virtual Joist tables is similar to that described for Virtual Joist Girder tables.


Baseplate Summary Report

The Baseplate Summary report in RAM Steel Column module now includes the baseplate criteria used in the design of the baseplates.


Export of Reactions to ISM

An option has been added to the ISM command to Create Repository to allow the user to specify whether or not to include the support reactions in the ISM file.


DXF Grid Dimensions

Occasionally some grids are assigned Extents that result in shorter grids. Previously the DXF floor plan showed the dimensions between adjacent grids regardless of whether or not the grid had an Extent value assigned. This has been enhanced such that the dimensions between grids that don’t have Extents (i.e., the regular unaltered grids) are now also shown.


Column Effective Length

In the determination of the column effective lengths (for those Codes that use that methodology) determined using the Nomograph, the program previously used the beam moment of inertia even if a Custom or Spring Connection had been assigned to the beam. That function has been enhanced so that the Custom or Spring Connection stiffness is used rather than the beam moment of inertia.


Flexible Diaphragm Out-of-Plane Stiffness

In the analysis of lateral load cases RAM Frame included the out-of-plane stiffness of two-way decks defined as Flexible, but not for two-way decks defined as Pseudo-Flexible. To be consistent this has been changed so that the analysis does not include the out-of-plane stiffness in the analysis of lateral load cases when two-way decks have been defined as either Flexible or Pseudo-Flexible


Loads and Applied Forces Report

When there is no frame member on a diaphragm a warning is listed on the Loads and Applied Forces report in RAM Frame. Previously the message did not indicate the diaphragm number where the condition occurred. The diaphragm number is now listed with the warning. This is useful when a story has multiple diaphragms.


CoreBrace and Star Seismic Buckling Restrained Brace Connection Labels

The Connection type symbols (e.g., (B) for Bolted) for CoreBrace and Star Seismic Buckling Restrained Braces are now included with the size label in the Modeler.


RAM DataAccess

New functions have been added to RAM DataAccess providing the Interaction values for Design Capacity and for Deflection, from the design of the gravity beams.



The creation of ISM models with walls is now significantly faster.



Error Corrections:

Some program errors have been corrected for Version 15.02. 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.



MODEL NOTES: If a model was converted to version 15.01 from an older format, the model notes were deleted and a new notes file started. Also, if a model was opened and changes were made to the Notes, and then the model closed without saving, the changes made to the notes were lost without warning (now a warning is given if a Save has not been performed).

Effect: Model Notes information may have been lost.



WALLS ON FRAMING PLAN: Walls with pilasters (columns) may have been drawn with the wrong length on the DXF, based on an incorrect value for the column dimension.

Effect: Walls may have been drawn on the DXF with a gap or an overlap with the adjacent column.


COLUMN SCHEDULE: In some cases columns that didn’t extend down to the lowest level (e.g., columns on transfer beams) were not included in the DXF column schedule.

Effect: Columns missing from schedule.


SPREAD FOOTINGS MISSING ON FOUNDATION PLAN: Spread footings under columns that terminated at a level other than the base may not have been included on the Foundation Plan DXF.

Effect: Spread footings missing from the DXF.


FOUNDATION PLAN CIRCULAR GRIDS: Circular grids may not have been drawn correctly on the DXF Foundation plan.

Effect: Obvious error in DXF.


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.


Gravity Loads

MISSING LOAD*: If a floor layout consisted of a two-way concrete slab that had any steel framing outside the two-way slab perimeter (such that the steel framing was not supporting any deck), the program was not transferring loads on the steel framing to the supporting members.

Effect: The supporting steel members may have been missing loads, and in such cases may have been designed unconservatively.


Steel Design Modules

SHEAR AND MODULUS OF ELASTICITY: The shear and modulus of elasticity constants used in the steel design modules were inconsistent with the reported values in their respective manuals for AS4100 and Eurocode codes.

Effect: Although the shear and elastic moduli for Eurocode were consistent used across modules, the noted values in the manuals were not consistent with correct values used in the design. The AS4100 code used a calculated shear modulus based on E and poisson’s ratio rather than the code-specified shear modulus of 80,000 MPa, resulting in a slightly lower shear modulus.


 RAM Steel Beam

CHANGE TO COMPOSITE IN VIEW UPDATE: Non-composite beams exposed in slab openings were permitted to be investigated as composite beams in the View Update dialog box.

Effect: Although the initial View Update of the beam correctly designed the beam as non-composite, the Composite toggle button was enabled and permitted the investigation of the beam as composite. That design was incorrect because there were portions of the beam without any deck.


AS4100 EFFECTIVE LENGTH: The reported effective length for AS4100, Le, did not include the factors rt, rl and rl.

Effect: Although beam designs were correct, the reported effective length in the AS4100 beam report was incorrect.


RAM Steel Column

COLUMN ECCENTRICITIES: User-assigned eccentricities to steel columns supporting Other material columns were not correctly applied in the determination of column moments.

Effect: The applied moments to steel columns supporting Other material columns were incorrect.


COLUMN MOMENTS AT BRACED / UNBRACED LOCATIONS: When the bracing from a framing beam is released so that the location is designated as unbraced, the moments from eccentric beam reactions were not applied to the supporting column.

Effect: Designs may have been incorrect for columns where the applied moments from eccentric beam reactions were not considered if the bracing condition from framing beams was designated by the user as Unbraced.


VIEW/UPDATE ERROR MESSAGE: Single story steel columns supported by Concrete or Other material columns that were investigated using the View/Updated command reported "Fy must be greater than zero" error message.

Effect: While the designs for single story steel columns supported by Concrete or Other material columns were correctly designed, an investigation of the steel columns through the View/Update command resulted in the erroneous error message. Reports for the steel columns correctly indicated a non-zero Fy value.


AS 4100-98 SQUARE SHS DESIGN*: For square SHS design the program was calculating a larger capacity in the Y-axis than in the X-axis. Rather than using the tabulated values of Iy, Sy, and Zy it was using calculated values based on the nominal thickness. The error occurred in the ramas.tab Master Table and was caused by the Y-axis values being designated as 0.0 (so that they were calculated by the program), rather than being the proper tabulated values.

Effect: Unconservative capacities (e.g., Mry) were used in the design of SHS shapes in models using the ramas.tab Master table. The program used the correct values for the X-axis for SHS. The error did not occur for rectangular RHS shapes, only for square SHS shapes. Note: To correct this error in existing models that use the ramas.tab table, invoke the Criteria – Master Steel Table command in RAM Manager and allow the Master table to be updated.


AS4100 AMPLIFIED COLUMN MOMENTS: Incorrect column moment amplification factors may have been used in the determination of demand capacity ratios.

Effect: Incorrect moment amplification factors may have been used. This problem did not occur in most of the cases, where the amplification factor is 1.0.


AS 4100-98 LATERAL TORSIONAL BUCKLING CAPACITY: In the determination of LTB capacity, an alpha-m value of 1.0 was always used.

Effect: An incorrect LTB capacity was reported when alpha-m had a value greater than 1.0 Conservatively, members that would have passed the LTB limit state may have been failed by the program.


RAM Concrete Analysis

MESHING ISSUE FOR SLOPED DIAPHRAGM*: An incorrect mesh was produced if a model included a sloped semirigid or two-way diaphragm that was supported by sloped walls. The generated meshes for the sloped diaphragm and the sloped wall were not attached together at common nodes. Both RAM Frame and RAM Concrete were impacted by this error.

Effect: The generate mesh was not a good analytical mesh for a sloped diaphragm supported by sloped walls. This analytical model did not provide a valid load transfer between the sloped diaphragm and the sloped wall.


RAM Concrete Beam

CANTILEVER REINFORCEMENT*: In the Beam Design report any reinforcement that occurred only in the cantilever was not listed.

Effect: The design information was correct but some cantilever reinforcement may not have been listed in the report.


CSA A23.3 BEAM DESIGN REPORT: In the beam design report for beams designed using the CSA (Canadian) design code, the value of As provided for longitudinal reinforcement may have been incorrectly reported. The issue was only related to the reported value of As; the reported bar sets were correct.

Effect: Report error only, no impact on design.


RAM Concrete Column

FROZEN CONCRETE COLUMN SIZES CLEARED: If a model had frozen column sizes and the user canceled the design all before its completion, it is possible the sizes of the frozen columns would be cleared. Columns would then be re-optimized.

Effect: Loss of user's work without much visual indication. Design might change.


ACI IMF COLUMN SHEAR DESIGN*: Gravity shear forces were always considered positive when used in combinations including E, resulting in gravity shear being subtracted from the earthquake shear in some cases when they should have been added.

Effect: IMF columns were not always designed for the most critical combination.


AS3600-09 CIRCULAR COLUMN MOMENT CAPACITY: In the calculation of the capacity of circular columns, the gamma factor was applied twice.

Effect: The capacity of circular columns was underestimated.


RAM Concrete Shearwall

CLEAR BAR COVER*: The program didn't consider the new value for clear bar cover for shear walls when it was changed in Design Criteria.

Effect: The previously provided value of clear bar cover was being used instead of the newly entered value, when bars were determined and placed in the wall panel for design.


COUPLING BEAMS WITH CUSTOM COMBINATIONS*: If Custom combinations were created for use in the design of shear wall coupling beams, and if those combinations were subsequently modified, the design forces from the previous combinations were not cleared out and were used in the design.

Effect: For the conditions indicated the program may have designed the coupling beams using incorrect member design forces.


COUPLING BEAM FORCES: When two openings occur within the same story level, one above the other, and the wall between those two openings is designated as a coupling beam, the program conservatively included the forces that existed in the section of wall above the upper opening, not just the forces that existed between the two openings, when determining the design forces in the coupling beam.

Effect: Incorrect design forces for the condition described.


RAM Frame – Analysis

MESHING ISSUE FOR SLOPED DIAPHRAGM*: An incorrect mesh was produced if a model included a sloped semirigid or two-way diaphragm that was supported by sloped walls. The generated meshes for the sloped diaphragm and the sloped wall were not attached together at common nodes. Both RAM Frame and RAM Concrete were impacted by this error.

Effect: The generate mesh was not a good analytical mesh for a sloped diaphragm supported by sloped walls. This analytical model did not provide a valid load transfer between the sloped diaphragm and the sloped wall.


MASS AND GRAVITY LOADS ON SLOPED DIAPHRAGM*: The Dead loads listed in the "Diaphragm Gravity Loads" dialog and the masses listed in the "Diaphragm Masses" dialog give a summary of total weight and mass loads calculated on diaphragms. The values shown in these dialogs were not correct for models with sloped diaphragms. The values presented were calculated based on projected lengths instead of true lengths of the sloped diaphragm.

Effect: Calculated total Mass and Dead loads presented in these dialogs were missing some loads for sloped diaphragms. Note that the information given in these dialogs are used for Eigenvalue analysis, P-Delta, and notional loads calculations. In case of a steep sloped diaphragm, the error introduced in calculating loads may have been significant.


MISSING LOADS ON SEMIRIGID DIAPHRAGMS*: If a model had two or more diaphragms in the same layout type, and those diaphragms included a mix of Flexible-None and Semirigid diaphragm types, the program may have missed some surface loads (dead, live or mass) on the semirigid diaphragm. This occurred in a very rare case and was dependent on the order that the Flexible and Semirigid diaphragms were created in the Modeler.

Effect: For the conditions described, and if the Flexible diaphragm was created in the Modeler before the Semirigid diaphragm, some surface loads on the semirigid diaphragms may have been missed.


GRAVITY LOADS ON FLEXIBLE DIAPHRAGMS SPECIFIED AS TWO-WAY*: If a diaphragm was specified as both Flexible and Two-way, no gravity loads were applied.

Effect: Gravity loads on these diaphragms were ignored. This is an unusual condition.


INCORRECT LOAD DISTRIBUTION FOR MODELS WITH HYRID FLOORS*: For models with hybrid floors (both one-way and two-way deck systems occur within the same diaphragm), the load distribution (i.e., reactions calculated on lateral members due to loads on gravity members) was not correct if point or line loads were placed on gravity beams supported by lateral members, and those gravity beams were located along common edges of one-way and two-way deck polygons.

Effect: In some cases, the program missed some loads, and in other cases, the program calculated more loads.


DRIFTS REPORTED FOR PSEUDO-FLEXIBLE DIAPHRAGMS*: The program reports averaged diaphragm displacements for pseudo-flexible diaphragms. To do this, it first determines the nodes of the frames within diaphragms and takes an average of displacements at these nodes. For Pseudo-Flexible diaphragms with walls, the program was erroneously including the deflection of the wall nodes between stories in those averages.

Effect: Drift values calculated for Pseudo-Flexible diaphragms may not have been correct if such diaphragms included walls.


COREBRACE AND STAR SEISMIC BUCKLING RESTRAINED BRACE CONNECTION LABEL: When the View/Update dialog box was used to investigate buckling restrained braces in models with different connection types (e.g., Bolted vs Welded), the connection type was listed properly for the first brace selected but may not have been listed properly in that dialog for subsequently selected braces; the Connection selection button did not update.

Effect: The Connection type assigned to the brace was not necessarily indicated correctly in that dialog. Note that this was just a display problem in the dialog; the designs were correct for the actual Connection type, and the report listed the type correctly.


COREBRACE AND STAR SEISMIC BUCKLING RESTRAINED BRACE CONNECTION LABEL: When buckling restrained braces were investigated with the View/Update command and the Connection type was changed but the size was not, the connection type symbol (e.g., (B) or (P)) in the 3D and Elevation views did not update; the graphics still showed the original connection type symbol.

Effect: This was a display error only. The Connection type was changed and the designs reflected that, but the display failed to update to show the revised Connection type symbol.


CRASH RELATED TO MESHING SEMIRIGID DIAPHRAGM: The program crashed if a model included a semirigid diaphragm supported by gravity columns and these columns were specified to be included in the model as Vertical Springs.

Effects: The program crashed and did not allow having meshed semirigid diaphragms.


RAM Frame – Steel Standard Provisions

AS4100-98 BIAXIAL BENDING*: For all shapes other than doubly symmetric I sections and rectangular and square hollow sections, subjected to biaxial bending, Equation 8.3.4 (b) rather than Equation 8.3.4 (a) was used in determining the interaction equation.

Effect: While the reported interaction equation for doubly symmetric I sections and rectangular and square hollow sections were correctly determined, the interaction equation for other shapes under biaxial bending were incorrectly determined.


RAM Frame – Steel Seismic Provisions

AISC 341-10 SMF COLUMN COMPACTNESS*: The compactness limits for SMF columns with a Strong Column – Weak Beam ratio greater than 2.0 were incorrectly based on the less restrictive limits for compactness given in AISC 360-10,

Effect: SMF columns with Strong Column – Weak Beam ratios greater than 2.0 were erroneously permitted to use the compactness limits in AISC 360-10. The provision to use the less restrictive limits only applies in AISC 341-05.


COREBRACE CONNECTION AND SIZE LABELS: When the View/Update dialog box was active for a selected CoreBrace Buckling Restrained Brace and different connection types were investigated, the connection label for the active brace under investigation did not update in the dialog box to reflect the investigated connection. Also, a selection of different CoreBraces while the View Update dialog box was active did not necessarily reflect the newly selected brace connection type if the type varied between braces.

Effect: Connection and Size labels for the different connection types investigated may not have been correctly displayed for CoreBraces either in the View/Update dialog box nor the screen display. The error did not occur if the model used the same CoreBrace connection type for all braces. This was only a display error, and did not affect the design.


RAM Foundation

FROZEN FOUNDATIONS: If the user changed the reinforcement table in a model that had frozen foundations, the reinforcement was not cleared from the frozen foundations. If those bar sizes no longer appeared in the new table, the information presented in V/U and reports was erroneous.

Effect: Incorrect design is shown to the user.


PUNCHING SHEAR OF CIRCULAR COLUMNS*: When performing punching shear checks, circular columns were being treated as rectangular columns with a corresponding rectangular punching shear perimeter.

Effect: The calculated punching shear capacity of the footing was incorrect for circular columns.


ISM / Structural Synchronizer

WALL OPENINGS: Complex openings in walls were imported as a single large rectangle that may have ignored wall boundaries.

Effect: Complex wall openings may have been imported into the RAM Structural System in a way that resulted in an unacceptable model condition. Complex openings are now imported more rationally.


CANTILEVER REACTIONS: Cantilever reactions were sometimes exported incorrectly associated with the tip of the cantilever rather than associated with the support of the cantilever.

Effect: Reactions were sometimes associated with the wrong end of the cantilever in ISM.


GRAVITY BEAM REACTIONS*: Gravity Beam Reactions exported to ISM were including the self-weight twice. Additionally, the reactions were being applied to the opposite end from where they should have been.

Effect: Potentially incorrect reactions were attached to the beams in the ISM file.