Designing Slabs in RAM Structural System

Designing Slabs in RAM Structural System (RSS) is now possible.   In RSS version 14.05 a slab design module was added. This module gives RSS the ability to design slabs using the power of RAM Concept.

This article has been updated for RSS version 14.07 with notes below.


Here's the Inside OUT on this powerful new feature:

You will need to have a licensed copy of RSS and RAM Concept installed to use the new module.  When invoking the module there are many choices to tailor what RSS information is available for slab design.  You can copy the additional slab design information - design strips,  punching checks, PT, and additional loads (referred to as "goodies" below) between floors



You will have access to RAM Concept's full modeling capabilities. While it is possible to make changes to the geometry or loads while designing the slab here are some things to consider:

  • Changes to the geometry and loads in the slab file are not reflected in the main RSS model.
  • Take caution when entering the slab file, the Slab and Loading check boxes take precedence and may overwrite your changes.  I suggest un-checking all boxes after the initial run, only turn this information back on to update the slab file with any RSS model changes.
  • You can break the link between the slab design file and the RSS model. To do this you will need to remove it from the .rss wrapper.  If you save your RSS file as zip you can review alll the files that make up your model.

Updated information RSS v14.06:

When you make changes in RSS and then update the Concept file, at first, changes are only reflected in the Mesh Input layer.  All your other Concept layers and information remains the same.  You must re-mesh for the new geometry to be reflected through.  All of your design strips, reinforcing, and PT will remain in the same place.  It would be good practice to check these layers and update to meet the geometry changes.

One of the best features of this module is the Copy from Existing Story Data.  After you have a floor all set with the slab design goodies you can copy the goodies to other floors in the structure.  

  • Select the floor you want to design from the main window at the top.  From the pull down list select the floor you are copying the goodies from.  Then Select Copy.
  • If you select Ok button instead of Copy the checked geometry and settings will take precedence (no goodies will be in the model).

In RSS v14.07 two new options were added to the Export dialog.  You can now select which version of RAM Concept to launch. This comes in handy if you have multiple versions of RAM Concept installed.  You will also find a BE Communities button in this dialog.  This button will run a search on BE Communites for all material on RSS - Concept intg.  The search results are listed for your review.  You can read or bookmark the information for later in your BE Communities profile.

The last thing I want to discuss on this module is…. REACTIONS.  After you analyze the slab and save the model the reactions are automatically available; however, they are not automatically used in the column design.  Some things to consider about the reactions from the slab design:

  • Toggle the reactions on/off in the Column Forces criteria dialog box (turn on Concept reactions).
  • If additional load cases were added in the slab file these reactions are NOT available.  Hint: to add additional loads put them on an RSS load layer in the slab file.
  • Live load reduction is performed for the slab however the reactions passed back to RSS are whole.  RSS will perform the live load reduction on the columns. (Live load reduction is not calculated automatically for two way slabs in RSS.  Assign user defined reduction values.)

Remember, don't let projects get you overstressed, RAM gives you strength. 


In two weeks check out the Inside OUT of a RAM Elements feature.

If you have any suggestions or topics you would like me to write about please leave a comment or email me,