RAM SS V14.05.00 Release Notes

RAM Structural System V8i SELECTseries 5 Release 14.05

Release Notes

Release Date: July 30, 2012 (Note: Official release date: August 21, 2012)

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 14.05 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.

Version 14.05 may give slightly different results than V14.04.

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 only be installed by downloading the installation file from the Bentley SELECT web site. It can be found on the Bentley SELECT Services Downloads and Updates web page at:

Select “Search Downloads” and log in using your User Name and Password. Perform a Search by searching for the “RAM Products”, 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.

RAM Frame Graphics and User Interface

The user interface and graphics in RAM Frame have been completely updated. This includes enhanced graphics and commands for displaying, rotating, zooming and viewing the model and design results. This makes the RAM Frame interface more similar to that of the RAM Concrete and RAM Steel Column modules and takes advantage of the graphical capabilities of the 3D Viewer.

Offset Beams and Columns

Beams and columns can be modeled such that the centerlines are offset. This allows, for example, modeling a beam so that its face aligns with the face of the column, or modeling a smaller column stacking down on a larger column such that sides align (which means the centerlines don’t align). These offsets are treated as rigid links, and the resulting moments and torques are automatically applied to the members in the calculation of design forces. Beams can be modeled with offsets in the Modeler by placing them in their non-offset position and then offset using the Layout – Beams – Offset command, in which case the rigid links are automatically assigned, or they can be modeled in their offset position and then rigid links can be manually assigned using the Layout – Beams – Assign Rigid Links command. Columns can be offset with similar commands. Note that if perimeter beams are offset after the Slab Edge has been assigned it may be necessary to remodel the slab edge in the vicinity of the offset beam.


The ability to create, import and export ISM repositories has been significantly enhanced. These capabilities provide interoperability with ISM-enabled programs such as STAAD, AECOsym, ProStructures and Autodesk Revit. With the implementation of the newly updated ISM 3.0, the ISM capabilities available in the RAM Structural System provide a bi-directional link with Autodesk Revit that in nearly every respect is comparable to and in many respects exceeds the capabilities of the direct RAM – Revit link, while additionally providing a powerful change management capability. The Change Management system provided with ISM identifies changes made to the model, allowing for the changes to be accepted or rejected before re-importing a model.


Thumbnails of the model are now visible in the File commands to preview models before opening, saving or deleting. They are also visible in Windows Explorer.


Several enhancements were added to the Modeler.

Automatic Backup

An automatic backup file is created when the program crashes. The file name includes the current time stamp and is given the extension of .ssr; it remains available if subsequent investigation reveals the necessity of returning to that version of the database.

ASCE 7-10 and IBC 2012

The automatic load generation capabilities of RAM Frame for Wind, Seismic and Dynamic loads have been enhanced to include the requirements of ASCE 7-10 and IBC 2012. The load combinations required in those codes are now available in the automatic load combination generator. Note that because of the changes in ASCE 7-10 to the calculation of the Wind loads (they are now Ultimate values), the IBC 2012 / ASCE 7-10 load combinations should be used with those loads. The IBC 2009 / ASCE 7-05 combinations should not be used with the IBC 2012 / ASCE 7-10 loads, and vice versa.

AISC 341-10 and AISC 358-10 Seismic Provisions

The seismic design requirements of AISC 341-10 and AISC 358-10 have been incorporated in the Steel Seismic Provisions module in RAM Frame. The checks have been implemented more exhaustively, and the design reports enhanced. The column required strengths for SCBF columns per Sections F2.3(i) and F2.3(ii) (in which the braces are assumed to be loaded to their expected strengths and expected post-buckling strengths) and for BRBF columns per Section F4.3 are now calculated. Also, the unbalanced load on beams in mega-X braces (whereby the braces above the beam form a chevron and the braces below the beam form an inverted V) caused by braces buckling in compression is calculated and reported; previously the unbalanced load on the beam was only reported if there were only two braces framing in, either from a chevron or an inverted V configuration, but not both.

ACI 318-11 Requirements for Structural Concrete

The concrete design requirements of ACI 318-11 have been implemented in RAM Concrete.

AISC 360-10 for CMC Smartbeam Design

The requirements of AISC 360-10 Specification for Structural Steel Buildings have been implemented in the design of CMC Smartbeams.

Eurocode Load Combinations

The load combinations for steel design in RAM Frame based on the Eurocode EN1990:2002+A1:2005 requirements and for the UK National Annex to EN 1990:2002 are now available. The original set of Eurocode combinations is still available but is clearly identified as those of the old ENV1991-1:1994 requirements.

RAM Frame

In addition to the updated interface and the implementation of the updated codes, several enhancements were implemented.

RAM Concrete

In addition to the implementation of ACI 318-11 some enhancements to the Shearwall module were incorporated.

Graphics Controls

In the 3D Viewer and in the Modeler, the mouse wheel zooms the view in and out.

USD Decks

In ramdecks.dck the labels for USD decks were updated (eliminating “CMC”).

Eurocode Steel Grade

Algorithm for determining steel grade simplified.

RAM DataAccess

RAM DataAccess functions are available for use in third-party programs. They have been enhanced. Mass Dead load is now accessible through the ISurfaceLoadPropertySets, ILineLoadPropertySets and IPointLoadPropertySets interfaces. Partition Loads are now accessible through the ISurfaceLoadPropertySets interface.

Error Corrections

Some program errors have been identified in V14.04.x and corrected for Version 14.05. 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.


SHOW SURFACE LOAD/DECK: The Show commands for Surface Loads and Decks display the Gross and Net areas of the polygon. In some configurations the Net Area value was incorrect.
Effect: Incorrect values listed in the Modeler. The calculated areas shown in Modeler are not used for analysis and design.

WHOLE PERIMETER: Various "Add - Whole Perimeter" commands in Modeler failed with "Error in Nodal Network" if a sloping column shared a top coordinate with another column.
Effect: User was required to manually add those items instead of using the "Add - Whole Perimeter" commands.

USER INTERFACE: Several additional errors were also corrected in the Modeler. These errors were nuisances that caused various commands to work incorrectly or not work at all under certain conditions. They did not, however, affect the design results.

Steel Beam

SMARTBEAM DEFLECTION REPORT: The deflection report for Smartbeams with a range in spacing and phi in the case of castellated Smartbeams may have been slightly incorrect.
Effect: The report showed the deflection results of the last beam configuration in the range of configurations checked during design. For beams designs with specific configurations, a single opening size and single spacing and in the case of castellated beams, a single phi value, the deflection results reported were correct.

BEAM DEFLECTION COLORS: Beams assigned a zero total deflection limit did not show a correct deflection interaction color.
Effect: The interaction color for beams assigned a total deflection limit of zero was gray. Although beam designs were correct, the user could not determine from interaction colors whether the beam passed or failed the design check.

STEEL BEAM REPORT: Duplicate design warnings were listed for beams after a Design All command was performed .
Effect: Although beam designs were correct, duplicate warnings for beam designs were reported.

Steel Column

STEEL COLUMN SPLICES: In the situation where "No Splice" has been assigned between stories, if the user assigned a size to the column at one level but not the other, the steel design program would design the unsized column independently of the user defined column, and that is the size that would appear on the design reports, but the Takeoff Report incorrectly used the assigned size for all levels between the splice levels.
Effect: The designs were correct but the Takeoff did not correctly consider the changes in sizes between splice levels when sizes were assigned at some levels but not others. A "Temporary" splice is now assigned by the program to these levels to ensure that they are considered separately.

RAM Frame – Analysis

DECK SELF WEIGHT FOR TWO-WAY DECKS*:  In rare and obscure cases deck-self weights may have been miscalculated if there were several decks that were overlapping each other.
Effect: In rare cases, the self-weight from two-way deck may have been incorrect.

WALL GROUP FORCES*: Out-of-plane shears and moments from walls were not included when calculating and reporting wall group forces.
Effect: Wall group forces were not correct if the option was selected to include wall out-of-plane stiffness in analysis. The error did not occur if the option to include wall out-of-plane stiffness in the analysis was not selected.

ROOF AND SNOW LOADS FOR P-DELTA*: The program did not include snow and roof loads when calculating P-Delta effects if Use Gravity Loads option was selected in the General Criteria dialog. Note that other type of loads (dead and live loads) are included correctly.
Effect: Snow and Roof loads were excluded when P-Delta effects were calculated using the Gravity Loads option.

INCORRECT MEMBER FORCES REPORTED*: Incorrect member force values were reported if all of the following occurred: the model included a semirigid diaphragm, P-Delta effects were considered in analysis, a Center of Rigidity load case was included in the analysis, and the Out-of-Core solver was used.
Effect: The analysis results were not correct if all of the above listed conditions occurred. Note that story drifts, nodal displacements and Eigenvalue analysis results were still correct.

AS/NZ WIND LOAD CASE: For the Australia/New Zealand code the wind load case dialog did not allow a value of 0.01 to be entered for the ratio of structural damping to critical damping of a structure.
Effect: In some cases the desired values of applied wind loads per the Australia/New Zealand code could not be generated.

AS/NZ WIND LOAD CASE: For the Australia/New Zealand code the Load Case report showed wrong values of windward and leeward pressures due to incorrect unit conversion.
Effect: Report error only, the analyzed forces were correct.

RAM Frame – Steel Standard Provisions

VIEW/UPDATE*: Using the View/Update command, member code checks of alternate beam sizes other than the size evaluated during analysis may have been incorrect if the connection type assigned to the beam was either a Custom or SidePlate connection.
Effect: Although member code checks for the assigned beam sizes were correct, the results for alternate beam sizes investigated in the View/Update dialog may have been incorrect if the beam connection type assigned was either a Custom or SidePlate connection. Note that a subsequent Code Check would have correctly checked that size, so there was little likelihood that any designs were impacted by this error.

COLUMN UNBRACED LENGTH*: The unbraced length of columns supporting stub cantilevers may have been incorrect.
Effect: In the calculation of the unbraced length, the lack of support by stub cantilevers was not always considered correctly. If the only beam framing into a given axis at a level was a stub cantilever, the unbraced length of columns determined in that direction may have been unconservative.

AISC 360 SINGLE ANGLE SLENDERNESS CHECK: For single angles designed according to the AISC 360 code where the user selected the criteria option to limit the slenderness, no warning was issued when the single angle exceeded slenderness limit.
Effect: No warning was given when single angles exceeded user-specified slenderness limits when designed using the AISC 360 code. Note that these limits are not Code requirements.

FLAT BAR BRACES IN EUROCODE 3: When the Eurocode was selected as the design code, some flat bar sizes failed as a result of being classified as Class 4 shapes even when the bar was a tension-only brace and never in compression.
Effect: Some flat bar sizes were listed as failing even though they had adequate tensile capacity.

BRACE VIEW/UPDATE: If the parameters associated with angles ("Long Leg Horizontal" for Single Angles and “Long Leg Back to Back”, “Snug Tight Only” and “Spacing” for Double Angles) were modified and updated in the Brace View/Update command, the parameters were not updated and therefore not applied in subsequent investigations of angles and double angles.
Effect: Although initial single and double angle brace parameters were respected and correctly accounted for in the member design check, any changes to those parameters in the Brace View/ Update command were not saved to the database nor applied in subsequent designs.

BUCKLING RESTRAINED BRACES: The reported axial capacity for Buckling Restrained Braces in compression was incorrect.
Effect: The capacity in compression did not consider the brace to be fully braced in compression. Braces that should have otherwise passed may have failed the member design check.

RAM Concrete – Analysis

BEAM LOAD DIAGRAM*: The beam load diagram was showing the reduced Live Loads even if the option to Consider Live Load Reduction was not selected in the Analysis Criteria.
Effect: Live Load Reduction was always applied to loads in the load diagram irrespective of the Live Load Reduction selection in the Criteria menu. This was a display issue only; the analysis results were correct.

RAM Concrete – Shear Wall

MANUAL REINFORCING*: When manual reinforcing was used for a wall panel, and the vertical zone(s) used a different number of reinforcing curtains than the horizontal reinforcing, the number of curtains used in the assessment of shear strength and certain prescriptive code checks was incorrect.
Effect: Possible incorrect (most commonly underestimated) shear strength calculation, and possible false warnings about reinforcing-related code provisions.


Several errors were corrected in the commands to create new ISM repositories or to import from or to ISM repositories. These errors ranged from user interface errors to errors in creating or updating data. This version’s implementation of the ISM capabilities is much more robust than previous versions.


See an article with graphics on the new enhancements and features here.