RAM Structural System V8i Release 14.03 New Features and Enhancements

Version 14.03 of the RAM Structural System V8i is scheduled to be released August 2010. This version contains several significant enhancements.

CMC Smartbeam Update

  • Smartbeam design has been updated to conform to the requirements of AISC 360-05.
  • The View/Update command has been enhanced to optimize the opening diameter and range of spacing (for Cellular beams) or dt and range of e (for Castellated beams) rather than requiring the user to specify those values when selecting a specific size.
  • Graphics have been added to the View/Update to show the actual opening configuration.
  • The Freeze Design command now works for Smartbeams.
  • Infills can be specified.

Shear Wall Coupling Beam Design

  • Shear Wall coupling beams can be designated and designed. Reinforcement can be optimized or modified, specified and analyzed.

Partition Loads as Unreducible Live Loads

  • In the definition of the floor loads, Partition Loads can now be explicitly specified, separate from the other Live Loads. Such loads are treated as unreducible Live Loads even if the rest of the Live Load is reducible. Some Codes explicitly require that Partition Loads be treated as unreducible. The user now has the option to have Partition Loads treated either reduced as part of the reducible Live Load (by including it with the Live Load) or as a distinct unreducible Live Load (by specifying it as a Partition load).


  • A Move Wall command (Layout – Walls – Move) has been implemented. After a wall has been modeled it can be shifted or rotated in plan or lengthened or shortened.
  • Align Columns and Align Walls commands have been implemented (Integrity – Align – Columns and Integrity – Align – Walls). These commands are useful when models have been imported into the RAM Structural System which have columns or walls that do not precisely align. Selecting a column or wall at a particular level produces a list of all columns, walls and grids at all levels in the vicinity (within a specified tolerance) of the coordinates of that selected member; the user can then specify that the corresponding columns and/or walls at all levels be moved to align vertically.
  • Options to view any layout type as a background reference level for other layout types have been implemented, using the Options – Reference Layout Types command. The Reference Layout type is displayed with dim colors behind the currently selected layout type and is useful for comparing two or more layouts. The elements of the Reference Layout Type can be specified as Snap Points using the Options – Set Snap Points command.

  • The Self-weight criteria specified in the RAM Manager are now displayed for reference in the PropTable – Loads commands.
  • There is now an option to show a tracking cursor as well as the snap cursor when in any command that uses Snap Points. This is invoked by selecting the Show cursor in snap mode option in the Options – User Interface command. The tracking cursor tracks the actual mouse movement while the snap cursor snaps to the nearest snap point. This option is now the default behavior but can be suppressed to only show the snap cursor.
  • The precision (number of decimal places) shown in the coordinates displayed in the Coordinates window on the status bar at the bottom right of the Modeler window can be specified using the Precision control in the Options – User Interface command.
  • An option to show concrete columns without fill has been implemented in the Options – User Interface command. This option is useful when the column fill is hiding something beneath.

Eurocode EC 3 Steel and EC 4 Composite

  • • The requirements of the Eurocode Pre-standard for steel and composite design have been replaced with the latest Eurocode requirements of EN 1993-1-1:2005 (including Corrigendum No. 1) and EN 1994-1-1:2004 (including corrigendum April 2009), including the UK National Annex.

Chinese Code

  • The requirements of the Chinese concrete specification have been implemented. Note that some of the user interface and some of the reports are only available in Chinese.

RAM Frame

  • The Criteria – Diaphragm command has been reorganized for clarity and enhanced to allow the user to specify the in-plane diaphragm rigidity (Rigid, Semi-rigid, etc.) independently of the out-of-plane stiffness. This now permits a diaphragm with a Two-way slab to be analyzed as a Rigid Diaphragm in the plane of the diaphragm, while meshing and analyzing the slab for the vertical loads.
  • The option in the Criteria - General command to use the Gravity Dead and Live Loads in the P-delta stiffness modification calculations (rather than using the Mass values) has been enhanced to use User-defined DL and LL values, if any, specified in the Loads – Gravity Loads command. Previously it used the calculated values for those P-delta modifications even if the user specified different Dead and Live Load values in that command.
  • The slab meshing algorithms have been improved to reduce meshing errors, and slab meshing error messages have been enhanced to better describe the location and/or cause of the error. A merge tolerance can be specified in Criteria – General which is used to merge close nodes.

  • Eccentricity values for User-defined Wind and Seismic load cases for semirigid diaphragms can now be specified as part of the User-defined load case definition.
  • Analysis Warnings are now given at the end of the Analysis process rather than during the Analysis process where they suspended the analysis.

RAM Concrete

  • Member Force Diagrams can now be viewed using the Process – Results – Member Forces command in Analysis mode.

  • A Vertical Reactions Summary Report is now available listing the total cumulative gravity loads at each level.
  • The slab meshing algorithms have been improved to reduce meshing errors, and slab meshing error messages have been enhanced to better describe the location and/or cause of the error.
  • When results are imported from RAM Concept, wall loads from walls in Concept are now applied as a uniform distribution to the supporting nodes rather than as a pair of reactions at the wall ends.
  • The provisions of the Chinese concrete design code have been implemented.

UK Deck Table

  • The UK deck table, ramuk.dck, has been updated to include the new SMD TR80+ and SMD TR60+ profiles, produced by Structural Metal Decks Ltd. The old profiles, SMD TR80 and SMD TR60 are still listed in the table to maintain compatibility with existing models, but it is recommended that the new profiles be specified instead.

Westok Cellular Beams

  • The View/Update dialog box for Westok Cellular Beams has been rearranged to fit better on the screen.

3D Graphics

  • The graphics have been enhanced, with an option to ‘smooth’ the graphics.
  • An option to set the default for showing decks or not has been added.

Menu Icons

  • Icons have been added to the menu items in Vista and Windows 7.