RAM SS V14.02 Release Notes

Release Date: February 26, 2010

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.

RAM Structural System V8i is part of the Bentley Systems V8i family of products. It is part of a coordinated release of the entire set of Bentley programs. Its intent is to create a common identity between all of the Bentley programs, indicating the growing integration between these programs. V8i is not a reference to a version number; this is Release 14.02, or Version 14.02, 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 14.02 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.

Version 14.02 may give slightly different results than V14.00.

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. Be sure to download and install the program dependency, Bentley IEG License Service version as well.

For users deploying unattended installations, passive installation does not work and will not work until rev 14.03.  Using the quiet flag in your deployments is recommended and performs normally.  

Structural Dashboard V8i

The Structural Dashboard is a free program from Bentley Systems, Inc. that assists in managing the data and workflow of projects from start to finish. The Structural Dashboard provides a single interface to utilize Bentley's integrated products for a complete project workflow.

The Structural Dashboard can be automatically launched when the RAM Structural System is invoked, or it can be launched from within the RAM Structural System using the File - Structural Dashboard command or by clicking on the Bentley logo icon on the left of the RAM Manager screen. The autolaunch feature can be set or disabled within the Structural Dashboard itself.

For more information on the Structural Dashboard, go to:

To download the Structural Dashboard, go to:

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.

Stub Cantilevers

Multiple Deflection Criteria

Operating Systems

Windows 7 and Vista operating systems are now fully supported.

Westok Cellular Beams

CMF Deck Export

For Engineers in the UK the ability to export deck and loading information to Studwelders, Ltd's CMF Deck Design Software has been incorporated, using the Process - Export Deck command in RAM Steel Beam. That software can be downloaded from Studwelders, Ltd's website at: http://www.studwelders.co.uk/home.html.

BS 6399 Roof Live Load Reduction

The requirements for Live Load Reduction for Roof loads per BS 6399 have been implemented. Roof Live Loads can now be specified as either Reducible or Nonreducible in the Criteria - Member Loads command in RAM Manager.


Live Load Reduction

In addition to the option to specify a maximum limit on Live Load Reduction on beams and columns, there is now an option to specify a particular value to be used. Thus for each member the user can specify that the Live Load Reduction % be based on the calculated value, based on the calculated value not to exceed a specified %, or to use a specified % (overriding the calculated value). This is done using the Layout - Columns - LL Reduction command and the Layout - Beams - LL Reduction command in the Modeler.

Grid Labels

In the Modeler the command to generate grids has been enhanced to allow grid labels to be generated that have both a letter and a number. For example, when generating Circular grids with an initial grid with a label of "C1", the subsequently generated grids will be given labels of "C2", "C3", etc; the letter will be retained but the number will be incremented.

Slab Edges

Zero-width slab edges are now allowed directly on beams.


In RAM Steel Column, baseplates are now designed for steel columns supported on concrete beams and for steel columns supported directly by the slab.

Stop Lights and Status Lights

RAM Frame

Star SeismicTM Buckling Restrained Braces

Star SeismicTM buckling restrained braces are now available in the RAM Structural System. This enhancement to RAM Frame's buckling restrained brace capabilities allows the engineer to directly and easily assign the Star SeismicTM shapes to the braces. See the document at the following website which outlines the procedure for using this feature:

RAM Concrete Analysis

RAM Concrete Beam

RAM Concrete Column

The concrete compressive strength has been added to the Column Design Summary report.

Error Corrections

Some program errors have been identified in V14.00.x and corrected for Version 14.02. 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.


HSS PROPERTIES: In the RAMAISC.TAB master steel table, the depth of HSS16X4X3/16 was incorrectly listed as 14" instead of 16", and the width of HSS14X6X5/8 was incorrectly listed as 10" instead of 6".
Effect: Those two shapes may have been treated incorrectly if there were depth or width restrictions assigned to the beam. All of the design properties in the table were correct, so the designs were correct.


DOUBLE-ANGLE HORIZONTAL BRACES: Horizontal braces that were assigned double angle sizes were translated as single angles.
Effect: Horizontal braces sizes that should have been double angle were listed as single angle in the CIS/2 file.


DXF FLOOR FRAMING: The layer and color of the lines inside the column blocks were hard-coded, resulting in not being able to change their color via the layer color, and producing the wrong layer if the blocks were exploded. These lines are now set to layer 0, and are colored "by layer".
Effect: Editing of column blocks in the DXF output was more difficult than needed.


KNEE BRACES: When the top of the column that a knee brace was attached to was moved up or down relative to the story height, the bottom of the brace would sometimes not move.
Effect: Knee braces may have had the bottom end in the wrong place.

NODAL LOADS: If you moved a member that a nodal load was attached to, the nodal load didn't move with the member.
Effect: Nodal loads ended up with invalid locations after moving the members to which they were attached. Also, since nodal loads are only visible in elevation view, the nodal loads could have been stranded out in space, with no way to see or delete them.

DATA CHECK: Frame columns supported by gravity transfer girders did not generate a DataCheck warning.
Effect: Difficult to understand error in RAM Frame.

DECKS/SURFACE LOADS: Whole Diaphragm did not work for diaphragms with no beams or walls.
Effect: Decks and surface loads couldn't be added with the Whole Diaphragm command, and had to be added manually with the Add command on diaphragms designed for two-way decks with no beams or walls inside the diaphragm.

Framing Tables

SURFACE LOADS: In very rare cases the program produced very large loads on beams when calculating the distribution of the surface loads.
Effect: Very large loads on beams in very rare cases. The error, when it occurred, was obvious.

EDGE LOADS: In a rare case, slab edge loads on perimeter beams and walls may have been doubled. If this error occurred on transfer girders at perimeter, the transfer column load may have also been doubled.
Effect: More load was assigned to edge beams and walls than necessary in rare case.

RAM Steel Beam

CELLULAR SMARTBEAM: The design report for Cellular Smartbeams was incorrect when accessed through the Fence, Floor or All commands. In these cases, the cellular beams were designed as castellated beams. Note that this is a report error only; the designs performed by the program were correct, and the report showed correctly when using the View/Update command or the Report - Design - Single command.
Effect: Incorrect design data reported when using the Fence, Floor or All command.

RAM Frame - Analysis

ANALYSIS LOG REPORT: For models with vertical springs (used for gravity columns and walls), Analysis Log report did not include forces in the springs when Summary of Equilibrium section was printed.
Effect: This was a report error only. No analysis results are affected.

ASCE 7-05 SEISMIC LOADS*: When the option to Apply Requirements of Supplement No. 2 was selected for ASCE 7-05 Seismic Loads, and if S1 was greater than or equal to 0.6g, minimum Cs was correctly limited according to Eq. 12.8-6 but was not further limited to the minimum Cs given by Supplement No. 2 Eq. 12.8-5, 0.044*SDS*I.
Effect: Incorrect base shear if Eq. 12.8-5 controlled for the conditions described.

LOADS FROM GRAVITY WALLS*: Loads in gravity walls supported on a Frame beam or a Frame wall were not getting applied to the Frame beam or Frame wall.
Effect: Gravity loads from gravity walls were missing in the analysis results. This error only occurred in V14.00 or later.

RESPONSE SPECTRA: For the NBC of Canada 2005 response spectra load case,if CQC was chosen for modal superposition, the program used the wrong damping factor in the calculation of member forces.
Effect: Analysis Results were not correct if CQC was used for NBC of Canada 2005 Response Spectra Load Case.

SURFACE LOADS FOR SEMIRIGID DIAPHRAGMS*: If any two load polygons touched each other at a single node, these load polygons were ignored for semirigid diaphragms.
Effect: Loads associated with these load polygons were not included in analysis.

SEMIRIGID DIAPHRAGMS AND HORIZONTAL BRACES: Horizontal braces under semirigid diaphragms were divided into smaller elements and attached to the diaphragms during meshing process of semirigid diaphragms.
Effect: Horizontal braces were attached to the diaphragm at several nodes along their lengths for the analysis, bending moments were induced in these members. This error only occurred when the diaphragm was specified as semirigid.

BUILDING STORY SHEAR REPORT FOR SEMIRIGID DIAPHRAGMS: If any members are disconnected from diaphragm, story shears due to these members are reported as not being part of a diaphragm, or "None", in the Building Story Shear report. For semirigid diaphragms, "None" shears are missing from the Building Story Shear report.
Effect: Report error only. Analysis results were valid.

SURFACE LOADS ON SEMIRIGID DIAPHRAGM: If there were three surface polygons and they were completely inside one another, the program may have failed to process these surface polygons correctly, all three loads were applied even though some loads should have replaced others. Note that this only happened with three load polygons.
Effect: More loads than necessary were applied. The program failed to resolve which load polygon was laid out last. Hence, more loads (conservative) were applied in analysis.

LIVE LOADS: The program considered overlapping surface loads as additive (rather than that the polygon on top replaces the polygons beneath) if they were different live load types (storage , reducible, etc.). Note that if overlapping surface live loads were the same type, the error did not occur.
Effect: Results were conservative; more live load was applied than necessary. This only happened for the calculation of live load notional loads and for live loads on semirigid diaphragms for two-way slabs.

GRAVITY LOADS IN TRANSFER WALLS*: Gravity loads from gravity walls supported directly by a semirigid diaphragm were not applied to the diaphragm unless generated mesh nodes occurred directly beneath the wall's point or line loads.
Effect: Gravity wall loads may not have been included in the analysis.

POINT LOAD OVER OPENING WARNING*: If the program finds a point load over an opening for a wall, where the opening extends to or above the story level (such that the point load is being applied to the open space), it gives a warning and skips the point load. In rare cases that warning was generated even for some models with walls without any openings at all.
Effect: A warning message was incorrectly given, and the point load was not included in analysis.

WIND LOADS ON SLOPED SEMIRIGID DIAPHRAGMS: Excessive wind loads were applied to sloping semirigid diaphragms. The error did not affect loads on rigid diaphragms and on nonsloping semirigid diaphragms.
Effect: Wind loads on sloped semirigid diaphragms were conservative.

RAM Concrete - Beam

DETAILING DEFAULTS: The beam stirrup type 135 Degree Hook was not available in the stirrup type drop down menu in the Detailing Defaults dialog.
Effect: 135 Degree Hook could not be specified.