Several significant enhancements and features have been implemented in RAM Structural System V8i SELECTseries 5 Release 14.05. This version is now available. Several of the enhancements in this version are listed below.
Enhanced Graphics and User Interface in RAM Frame
The user interface and graphics in RAM Frame have been completely updated. This includes enhanced graphics and commands for displaying, rotating, zooming and viewing the model and design results.
Offset Beams and Columns
Beams and columns can be modeled such that the centerlines are offset. This allows, for example, modeling a beam so that its face aligns with the face of the column, or modeling a smaller column stacking down on a larger column such that sides align (which means the centerlines don’t align). These offsets are treated as rigid links, and the resulting moments and torques are automatically applied to the members in the calculation of design forces.
Several code updates have been implemented, incorporating the latest requirements.
In addition to the code updates, the seismic requirements have been implemented more exhaustively and the design reports enhanced. The column required strengths for SCBF columns per Sections F2.3(i) and F2.3(ii) (in which the braces are assumed to be loaded to their expected strengths and expected post-buckling strengths) and for BRBF columns per Section F4.3 are now calculated. Also, the unbalanced load on beams in mega-X braces (whereby the braces above the beam form a chevron and the braces below the beam form an inverted V) caused by braces buckling in compression is calculated and reported.
Thumbnails of the model are now visible in the File commands to preview models before opening, saving or deleting. They are also visible in Windows Explorer.
An automatic backup file is created when the program crashes. The file name includes the current time stamp and is given the extension of .ssr; it remains available if subsequent investigation reveals the necessity of returning to that version of the database.
When decks or surface loads are shown, their labels are also displayed.
When steel beams or columns are added, the value of the yield strength (Fy, fy, py) defaults to the value associated with the shape of the section to be added. The default values associate with each shape can be specified by the user (whereas previously only a single default value could be specified and was used as the default regardless of the shape being added).
Options are now available to draw members to scale in plan view. Beams are represented by a rectangle representing the beam width. This is particularly useful for concrete structures. Only members that have been assigned a size will be drawn to scale; unsized columns will be drawn the default size and unsized beams will be drawn as a single line.
In addition to the updated interface and the implementation of the updated codes, several enhancements were implemented.
The eigen analysis has been improved. It is more robust, with better convergence. Also, the vertical diaphragm modes, that are irrelevant for flat floors and roofs, have been removed from the reported list of modes.
The P-Delta feature has been enhanced to explicitly allow factors to be specified on the Roof and Snow loads, rather than assuming the same factor as was specified for Live Loads.
The calculation of the ASCE 7 Stability Coefficient has been enhanced to allow factors to be specified for the loads used in the calculation of Px, rather than assuming factors of 1.0 on all loads.
In addition to the implementation of ACI 318-11 some enhancements to the Shearwall module were incorporated.
Diagonal reinforcement can now be specified and designed per the ACI 318 requirements in shear wall coupling beams.
The coupling beam design report lists more reinforcing checks.
The Copy command can now be used on Coupling Beams in addition to Wall Panels.
Wall stress contours can now be displayed without the necessity of selecting a section cut.
Manual (user-specified) reinforcement no longer gets deleted if the design code is changed.
Ag, Imaj, and Imin have been added to the Section Cut Design report.
RAM Concept can now be launched directly from the RAM Structural System. The link between the two programs is managed by the RAM Manager. The RAM Concept design files that are linked this way are saved as part of the RAM Structural System database.
The ability to create, import and export ISM repositories has been significantly enhanced. These capabilities provide interoperability with ISM-enabled programs such as STAAD, ProStructures, AECOsim Building Designer and Autodesk Revit. With the implementation of ISM 3.0, the ISM capabilities available in the RAM Structural System provide a link with Autodesk Revit that in nearly every respect is comparable to or exceeds the capabilities of the direct RAM – Revit link, while additionally providing a powerful change management capability.
Concrete beam, column and wall reinforcement can be exported from the RAM Structural System to ISM.
Web openings can be imported into the RAM Structural System where they can be designed. The openings and the required stiffeners, if any, can be exported out to ISM.
Offset beams and columns can be imported and exported.
Where a column bisects a wall, or where a wall frames into another (forming a T-shape), the wall is automatically subdivided into two panels, when imported in from ISM, as required by the RAM Structural System. When the model is subsequently exported back out to ISM the walls are reconstituted back into the single panel, thereby preserving the original model configuration.
Slabs and drop caps are now imported, and slab openings are included.
Reactions of gravity beams are now exported, making them available for inclusion in programs using the ISM model to create the structural drawings.
The interface for mapping entities between ISM and the RAM Structural System has been improved.
View the full Release Notes.
To place drift loads you definitely need to use the Construction Grids feature to place snap points at the locations where you need them. See the Layout - Grids - Construction Grids command.
Wind uplift is on our list of future enhancements. Definitely needed. We have been working on eliminating the limitation of only being able to do either Snow or Roof Live Load. Implementing it the way we did was a quick way of providing the abiltiy to do Snow loads; going back and doing it the 'right' way is considerably more work.
Thanks for the feedback, it is always appreciated.