RAM SS V14.00 Release Notes

Release Date: June 15, 2009

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 14.00, or Version 14.00, of the RAM Structural System.


The Tutorial Manual has been completely rewritten, with a new tutorial model. The new tutorial demonstrates many of the new and recently added capabilities of the program. Regardless of the level of expertise using the program, it is recommended that the tutorial be perused. This will be perhaps the most efficient way to learn the new features. The Modeler manual and the various design manuals should also be consulted to learn more about the program capabilities.

Important Notices:

Version 14.00 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 14.00 may give slightly different results than V13.0.

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.

Two-Way Slabs:

Decks in 3D View:

Transfer Members:

ACI 318-08:


Live Load Reduction:

Design Tables:

Canada CAN/CSA S16-01:

RAM Manager:


RAM Steel Beam:

RAM Frame:

RAM Concrete Analysis:

RAM Concrete Beam:

RAM Concrete Column:

RAM Concrete Shear Wall:

RAM Foundation:

Error Corrections:

Some program errors have been identified in V13.0.x and corrected for Version 14.00. 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.


ASTM METRIC REINFORCING TABLE: The ASTMM table contained incorrect bar labels and information (it actually contained the Canadian bar information).

Effect: Concrete designs utilized incorrect reinforcing sizes and designations. Only the metric table had this error.



AUSTRALIA DEFAULT: When AS/NZS was specified as the default Code selection in the Defaults Utility, it was not selected as the Code selection when new models were created.

Effect: No code was selected for Live Load Reduction.


RAM Steel Beam

SMARTBEAM CELL INCREMENT: When optimizing the cell spacing in cellular Smartbeams the value specified for Increment of Do was used for both the increment of Do and the increment of S.

Effect: The value specified by the user for Increment of S was ignored and the value specified for Increment of Do was used instead. The finally beam cell spacing may not have been a multiple of the increment specified by the user. The designs were otherwise correct. Note that since these values are usually the same, this error was rarely if ever seen.


CELLBEAM LINK (UK ONLY): In the link to the Westok Cellbeam program, the distance to adjacent beam exported from RAM Structural used the beam beff. For relatively close beams this resulted in length half of expected. This has been revised to 2xbeff which in most cases will equal the distance between adjacent beams.

Effect: No change to CELLBEAM design as loads are already calculated in RAM Structural System and applied directly to the beam (including self-weight). However loads generated in CELLBEAM that depend on this dimension will change.

RAM Steel Column

FREEZE ALL: In Steel Column, the Freeze All was not freezing the column sizes.

Effect: User defined sizes were lost when the next design was performed.


RAM Frame - Analysis

DECK MASS FOR SEMIRIGID DIAPHRAGMS*: Mass for decks located inside diaphragms specified as Semi-rigid was not included in the story mass.

Effect: No mass from decks was included for semi-rigid diaphragms.


NOTIONAL SNOW LOADS*: For models in SI units, notional snow loads were calculated incorrectly.

Effect: Unconservative values were generated. This only happened for models in SI Units.


EIGEN VECTOR NUMBER: The number of Eigen vectors for an Eigen Load Case could not be changed.

Effect: The number of Eigen vectors entered when the load case was first created could not subsequently be modified.


COLUMN FORCES: Column forces were reported and displayed at the column center even though they were required to be shown at column face. The error only happened for columns attached to beams with depths larger than half of story height.

Effect: Reported and displayed column forces were not correct for columns connected to very deep beams. Reported values were always at the column centers. This was conservative and rare.


PSEUDO-FLEXIBLE DIAPHRAGM: The Assign - Pseudo Flexible Diaphragm Properties command would always reset the "Distribute Applied Load Among" selection to "Frame Members Equally".

Effect: When the command was subsequently invoked, the selection shown in the dialog was reset to "Frame Members Equally". This was only a dialog initialization problem, the program used the selection that was set when the dialog box was exited.


RAM Frame - Steel Seismic Provisions

UNBRACED LENGTH*: User-specified unbraced lengths on moment frame beams were ignored in the Unbraced Length check. The program-determined unbraced lengths were used instead.

Effect: User-specified unbraced lengths were ignored. This was conservative unless the user-specified values were greater than the program-determined values.


AISC 341-02 LRFD EBF MEMBER CHECKS*: When checking the demand on members outside of the link (beam and brace) the code requires consideration of the simultaneously applied gravity loads. These gravity loads were applied as unfactored in the design combinations. This has now been changed similar to 341-05 to use the factored gravity load combinations.

Effect: Probable load combination forces lower than the code intended for member design outside of the link in EBF frames. Note that, typically, large amplified seismic forces contribute the majority of the forces to these members so the affect may not be significant.


AISC358-05 8.6 for IMF*: This prequalified connection check was not performed for IMF frames.

Effect: Possible that connection in IMF may not meet the requirements of 358-05. This check was not previously performed for this frame type.


RAM Concrete - Beam

FRAME BEAM DESIGN (IMF OR SMF): For ACI 318-05 intermediate or special moment frame design the error "Distance is too far from support face per ACI 318-05 Sec. or for Bar Set #3" was given in many instances where it did not apply.

Effect: Design errors were issued which did not apply.


RAM Concrete - Column

VERTICAL REINFORCING LABEL*: On the Material Properties page of the View/Update dialog, the vertical column reinforcing was not always labeled correctly in the elevation view of the column. Specifically, the bar size was incorrect.

Effect: Display error only.


REPORTS MENU: The Reports menu listed some erroneous items at the bottom of the list.

Effect: Some reports were not accessible in RAM Concrete Column, such as the Material Takeoff.


RAM Concrete - Shear Wall Design

MATERIAL TAKEOFF: The concrete volume and weight takeoffs were incorrect when in SI units.

Effect: Reporting error only.


RAM Foundation

FOUNDATION REPORT: On the spread footing design report, if a design check failed, a value of 0.0 was being show as the critical value with the controlling load combo number listed as -1. The report now shows 'NA" for the value and does not list a load combo number in this case.

Effect: Report error only, the design was correct.


SPREAD FOOTING DESIGN REPORT: When viewing the design report via View/Update, the gravity loads were listed as 'N/A'.

Effect: Report error only. The correct forces were used in the design of the foundation and showed correctly when accessing the report from the Reports menu.