RAM Structural System CONNECT Edition Release 15.0 New Features and Enhancements

RAM Structural System CONNECT Edition Release 15.0

New Features and Enhancements


Several significant enhancements and features have been implemented in RAM Structural System CONNECT Edition Release 15.0. This version is now available.


The Release Notes can be found at the wiki RAM SS V15.00 Release Notes.



The latest family of Bentley products are now identified as CONNECT Edition. All of Bentley’s CONNECT Edition programs, including the RAM Structural System, allow models to be associated with a project. Multiple models, from any of the Bentley products can be associated with a given project. This simplifies the process of keeping track of work done for a project, and in the future will enable analytics to be performed and reported for the project. When a model is first created or opened in this version the program will ask for a Project to which the file is to be associated.



See the wiki article Bentley CONNECT Overview for a more complete description of Bentley CONNECT. There are important instructions on registering users, creating projects, and associating models with projects.



When you sign in to your Bentley account you now have easy access to your CONNECTION center. The CONNECTION center gives you easy access to Usage reports, site configuration information, downloads, and Learning information on webinars, seminars and events, and includes a transcript listing the Bentley courses that you have completed. Your CONNECTION center also lists your recent projects with a portal into analytics on that project.


Eigenvalue Analysis

A new option for performing the Eigenvalue analysis (periods and modes) has been added, Lanczos Eigenvalue solver. The new solver has some remarkable advantages over the other two solutions: the new solver is much faster than other two solutions (i.e., subspace iteration and Ritz vectors solution) and it consumes significantly less memory and it is a very robust solution (the Lanczos implementation is an open source code developed by Rice University and widely used in academia and in industry).



ACI Beam Design Bar Selection

If the optimized number of longitudinal bars for beam capacity are not sufficient to accommodate all of the vertical shear bars the program will reduce the longitudinal bar sizes and add bars sufficient to accommodate all of the shear bars. When Analyzing user-specified bars in View/Update, if there are insufficient longitudinal bars for the number of shear bars the program will warn the user. The user can then either proceed as is or add additional bars.


CAN/CSA A23.3 Beam Skip Loading

When beams are designed per CAN/CSA A23.3, live loads are now skip loaded (pattern loaded).


Shear Reinforcement

For CAN/CSA A23.3 and BS 8110 the shear reinforcement design, including bar sizes and spacing, hooks, and shear zones can be modified and analyzed in the View/Update dialog.


Concrete Beam DXF

The sections in the concrete beam DXF file now show the correct link type and the number of legs with appropriate hooks.



A significant number of enhancements and improvements were made to the ISM capabilities that all models to be shared with Bentley’s BIM software AECOsim Building Designer, analysis and design software such as STAAD, and detailing software ProStructures. Together with the recently updated ISM Revit Plugin the interoperability with Autodesk’s Revit has also been enhanced. Some of these enhancements are listed below:

  • The RAM Structural System supports the concept of a typical floor type, but other software does not. This necessitates the splitting of typical floors into individual floor layouts when exporting a model from the RAM Structural System to an ISM repository. The user is now prompted before the typical layout used at multiple levels is split into unique layouts.
  • In the ISM import and export, an option to specify a model rotation has been added. This allows, for example, the ISM model to be oriented in its true orientation but oriented conveniently orthogonal to the X- and Y-axes in the RAM Structural System model.
  • When creating a repository an option has been added to split beams with cantilevers into separate elements in the repository, the main span of the beam and the cantilevers, broken at the supports. If the option is not selected the beam will be defined in the repository as a single beam cantilevering over/through the supports.
  • When creating or updating a repository an option has been added on the Operation Settings tab of the Mappings dialog to lower the elevation of beams that support Steel Joists by an amount specified, enabling the lowering of the supporting girders by the seat depth of the Steel Joists. Previously these beams would have to be manually adjusted.


  • Creating or Updating a repository would cause the analysis and design of a RAM Structural System model to be invalidated. The analysis and design results are no longer invalidated when a repository is created or updated.
  • In the File – ISM – ISM Options command there is now an option to open the Structural Synchronizer when using New from Repository. The benefit of this is that the user can manually filter out by rejecting objects they do not want imported into the model file.
  • Beam Reactions can be included when exporting to ISM. Now in the File – ISM – ISM Options command there is the ability to round the values to the number of decimal places specified by the user.


  • Several additional steel property Tables have now been mapped so that they are recognized in the ISM repository.
  • Creating or Updating a repository would cause the analysis and design of a RAM Structural System model to be invalidated, requiring that the model then be reanalyzed and designed. This was unnecessary as no relevant data had changed. The analysis and design results are no longer invalidated. Note that the model will still need to be saved after these actions to save ISM only changes.
  • When creating a model using the New From ISM Repository command, previously if Gravity walls in ISM had openings the gravity walls were imported without the openings (because the RAM Structural System doesn’t recognize openings in Gravity walls). Now if a Gravity wall has openings the wall type is changed to Lateral, with the openings. A Warning message is given indicating that the wall has been changed from Gravity to Lateral during the import. In the Modeler the wall can be changed back to Gravity if desired, but the openings will be lost.
  • Several defects in the ISM capability have been corrected in this version, including import of cantilever beams and importing models with sloping framing.


Steel Beam View/Update

If a beam has been assigned to be noncomposite but it supports composite deck, the View/Update command now allows that beam to be investigated and designed as a Composite beam. Previously, if a beam had been designed as a noncomposite beam the View/Update command would not allow that beam to be considered as a composite beam.



5/16 inch or 8mm diameter stud sizes can now be specified in the Deck/Slab Property Information dialog box for the Composite Floor System.


Composite Beams with Zero Studs

In some cases beams that have been assigned to be composite cannot accommodate sufficient numbers of studs to be composite, in that case the number of studs reverts to 0 and the beam is designed as a noncomposite beam. Previously when checking deflection for the Live Load case the program used the deflection criteria designated for composite beams (since the beam was designated to be a composite beam). This has been changed so that in this case the program now uses the deflection criteria designated for noncomposite beams (since the beam is being designed as a noncomposite beam). This will make the design consistent with the design as if it had originally been designed as a noncomposite beam.



The table of shapes for the SidePlate connection has been updated. Several sizes have been added, especially some of the heavier I-shapes. Some design parameters for some sizes have also been modified in accordance with the latest research. These changes will result in even more economical designs.


Metric I-shapes and British UB, UC, UBK and UCK shapes have been added. Members with the SidePlate connection can now be designed using BS 5950.


The SidePlate connection can be used with columns using square and rectangular HSS shapes. Those shapes are now available in the SidePlate table.


Load Combination Generators

When generating load combinations there is now a SelectAll and a DeselectAll button to select and deselect all of the load cases (so that they don’t all have to be done individually).


Load Combination Defaults

In some cases the default values used by the program in the Load Combination generators where ‘valid’ values but not necessarily the correct values for a given project. Users sometimes inadvertently used those values, failing to input the correct values, and the program didn’t give any warnings because the default values were within the ‘valid’ range. A change has been made to all of the IBC 2009 and IBC 2012 load combination templates such that no default value is assigned for the SDS and Omega_0 values, now requiring that the engineer explicitly specify a valid value; the program won’t generate combinations until the engineer has done so.


Previously the load combination templates had to have default values for controls of type Control 1 that fell within the acceptable range of that variable; now the load combination generator has been enhanced to recognize a default value in the templates of -99 to mean “no default”. When -99 is used in the template as the default value for a Control 1 control, no default value will be displayed in the user interface and the user must enter a value before generating combinations.


Foundation Soil Wizard

If a table of allowable soil pressures is created using the Formula option in the Soil Wizard, the Formula can now be subsequently edited using the View/Edit Formula button in the Soil Table dialog, and the new table of allowable pressures created. Previously the values in the table itself could be edited but the formula used to create the table could not.


Data Echo Report

Partition Load values have been added to the Echo of Input Data report.


Reduced Beam Section Data

The Member Forces report, Member Code Check report, and Seismic Provisions Member Code Check report have been updated to include the dimensional information – a, b, and c – of the RBS cuts.