RAM Structural System V8i Release 14.04 New Features and Enhancements

Version 14.04 of the RAM Structural System V8i is scheduled to be released July 2011. This version contains several significant enhancements. Some of these are listed below.

Hanging Columns

  • The ability to model, analyze and design hanging columns has been incorporated.
  • Hanging columns can be steel I-shapes, channels, angles, double angles, tees, rectangular HS, round HS, round bars and flat bars. Hanging columns can also be concrete rectangular and round shapes.
  • Hanging columns can be sloped.


AISC 360-10

The design and analysis requirements of AISC 360-10 Specification for Structural Steel Buildings, including the Direct Analysis Method, have been implemented.


IBC 2009

The pertinent requirements of IBC 2009, based on ASCE 7-05, for Live Load Reduction, Wind Loads, Seismic Loads, Response Spectra and Load Combinations have been implemented.


BS 5950 Amendment 1

When selecting BS 5950:2000 as the design code an option is given to apply the Amendment 1:2010 requirements. This has an impact on composite beam design, especially the capacity of shear connectors and the minimum percent composite.


The implementation of the Eurocode has been expanded: 

  • EC 2 in RAM Concrete Shear Wall module.
  • EC 3 Baseplate design in RAM Steel Column module.
  • EC 3 Joint Checks in RAM Frame Steel Standard Provisions module.


Models can now import to and export from ISM repositories, providing interoperability with other Bentley and third-party programs. The Change Management system provided with ISM identifies changes made to the model, allowing for the changes to be accepted or rejected before re-importing a model.




Steel Beam Code Check Colors

Beams can be displayed in colors based on the demand-to-capacity ratios for strength, deflection, and the controlling value of the two. The value of the ratios can be displayed.



Shape Orientation Graphic

When adding columns in the Modeler, the selected Shape is shown in the Orientation options.  Previously, an I-shape was shown regardless of the Shape selected.



Live Load Reduction for Walls

The Live Load Reduction requirements of all of the building codes implemented in the program are now available for Walls under one-way decks. The Live Load Reduction percentages are automatically calculated and applied to the Live Loads. In lieu of the automatically calculated reduction percentages, user-specified reduction percentages can be assigned to walls supporting either one-way or two-way deck.


Star Seismic Buckling Restrained Braces

Star Seismic Buckling Restrained Braces can be assigned, analyzed and designed. The Axial Stiffness Modifier is automatically calculated. The braces are checked per the requirements of AISC 360 Specifications and AISC 341 Seismic Provisions.



Moment Frame Connection Type

Standard and special connection types can be assigned to beams for the beam-to-column connection. These include: 

  • The standard Fixed or Pinned condition.
  • Springs defining the Major Axis rotational stiffness. This can be a specific spring stiffness value or a percent of the beam stiffness.
  • Custom connections defined as a length and stiffness modifiers. This is useful for the analysis of beams using proprietary connections or for haunched beams. The beam design is based on the member forces out at the distance (length of connection) specified.
  • Reduced Beam Section (RBS). The option is now given to explicitly include the effects of the reduced properties in the analysis of the frames. As was done in previous versions, the frame is checked per the requirements of AISC 360 Specifications and AISC 341 Seismic Provisions for an RBS.
  • SidePlate. The proprietary SidePlate connection can be specified. The stiffening effects of the side plates are automatically determined and included in the analysis. The beam and column design is based on the moments at the faces of the plates, the frame is checked per the requirements of AISC 360 Specifications and AISC 341 Seismic Provisions.



RAM Frame License Consolidation

  • The RAM Frame Drift module is now available as a part of RAM Frame, and no longer requires a separate license. This module is now available for all users of RAM Frame. The Drift module provides a power means of identifying which elements in the model contribute the most to the lateral drift of the structure, allowing sizes to be more economically optimized to control the lateral drift.

  • The RAM Frame Steel Standard Provisions module and the Seismic Provisions module are licensed together under a single license, as the RAM Frame Steel module. Users with a license for the Steel Standard Provisions now also have access to the Steel Seismic Provisions.  

RAM Frame

  • Gravity Loads: In order to more correctly determine the gravity loads on Lateral Frame members in concrete structures with two-way slabs, an option to include the gravity framing in the gravity load case analysis is now available.


  • Cracked Factor for Walls: There are now two cracked factors that can be designated for walls, one for the in-plane stiffness and one for the out-of-plane stiffness. Also, the method of applying the cracked factors has been improved, applying them to the stiffness rather than to the thickness used in calculating the stiffness (which over-estimated the effects of cracking on the out-of-plane stiffness).
  • Nodal Mass in Z-direction: An option has been added to include the nodal mass in the Z-direction in dynamic analyses. Except for buildings with large cantilevering areas this option is generally not necessary.
  • Large Models: Improvements in the solver result in faster analysis of large models.

RAM Concrete

  • Concrete Beam Reinforcing Elevations: An option to create DXF drawings with detailed elevations of the concrete beam reinforcing has been added. These can be created as an alternative to the Schedules previously available.


  • Copy Wall Reinforcement: A copy command is available to copy wall reinforcement from one wall or panel to another.

Computational Robustness and Tolerances

The library of polygon and math routines was significantly improved to make the analyses performed in several parts of the program more robust and more accommodating of members modeled imperfectly; the program can accommodate larger tolerances in coordinates. These changes are particularly beneficial for models created by importing models from Revit or DXF. Errors that sometimes occurred when slab edges were assigned directly on beams (rather than at an offset) have been significantly eliminated. These changes will result in a significant reduction in the incidences of polygon intersection and tolerance error messages, allowing the program to perform the various analyses in a more robust way, for models that previously would have terminated the analysis.

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