RAM Structural System V8i Release 14.06 New Features and Enhancements

Several significant enhancements and features have been implemented in RAM Structural System V8i SELECTseries 5 Release 14.06. This version is now available. Some of the new features are listed below.

64 bit Version

A 64 bit version of the program is now available. This allows for very large models, and provides a significant increase in the speed of analysis of large models.


Trust Licensing

The licensing for the program has been modified to conform to Bentley licensing procedures. Previously Strict Licensing was employed whereby if all of the licenses that a company had were in use the program would not allow another engineer to run the program until someone exited. Now the program will allow the engineer to proceed and will log the over-use. This log will then be helpful in determining the actual demand that a company has for licenses. See Understanding, Monitoring and Managing Usage for more detailed information on Trust Licensing.

Tables Saved with Database

The Master and Design Steel Tables are now saved with the database. This makes it more convenient when transferring a database from one machine to another when the database uses custom tables; it isn’t necessary to explicitly copy the tables to that machine, they are transferred as part of the database.

Launch RAM Connection directly from RAM Structural System

RAM Connection can now be launched directly from the RAM Structural System, with the necessary geometry, size and loads transferred to RAM Connection.


ISM / Structural Synchronizer

The ability to create, import and export ISM repositories has been significantly enhanced. These capabilities provide interoperability with ISM-enabled programs such as STAAD, AECOsim, ProStructures, Tekla©, and Autodesk Revit©.

  • Global Coordinate Offsets:

A model offset can be specified, allowing the model in the RAM Structural System to have coordinates locate at or near (0.00, 0.00) while the ISM model coordinates are real-world coordinates.

  • Reinforcement:

An option to include or exclude the concrete reinforcement in the export from the RAM Structural System has been implemented. For some workflows where rebar is not required, excluding rebar can reduce file size and improve performance.

  • Table Mapping:

For new models created from a repository, the user can now preset the desired Master and Design steel tables to use, and the Master table can be mapped to a specific standards organization such as AISC or CISC.

  • Import Metal Decks:

In prior versions only concrete decks were imported into the RAM Structural System. Metal decks are now imported, too. Where no mapping is specified, a default ISM deck type is used. RAM Structural System V8

  • Column Splice Locations:

An option to position the column splices a user-specified distance above the story datum has been added.

  • Columns, Hangers and Cantilevers:

Improvements were made in the identification of Columns vs Hangers, and of cantilevers.

  • Other Material Beam and Column Sections:

"Other" material beams and columns are now exported with rectangular parametric sections.

  • Multi-story Column Fixity:

When a continuous column is imported from ISM, the end fixity is set as Fixed for all three degrees of freedom at the intermediate stories where the column is segmented. In prior versions the fixity was often set as Pinned.

  • Slabs with a Concurrent Edge:

In prior versions, two slabs in ISM that shared a common edge were imported with two overlapping slab edges. The common edges are now removed leaving the outer boundary only, as required in the RAM Structural System.


Canada S16-09  

The requirements of Canadian Standard S16-09 Limit States Design of Steel Structures have been implemented. The option to design per either S16-01 or S16-09 is now available.

Australia AS 3600-09  

The requirements of Australia Standard AS 3600-09 Concrete Structures have been implemented. The option to design per either AS 3600-01 or AS 3600-09 is now available.

BS 8110-1:1997 Amendments  

The Amendments to BS 8110 have now been implemented. The changes in the program are primarily associated with Amendment 3 and the use of 500 Grade reinforcement and the change in gm in Amendment 2 when using 460 Grade reinforcement. The amendments were partially implemented previously; with the completion of the implementation the design results may be slightly different than in the previous version.

BS 5950-1:2000 Transverse Reinforcement

The Transverse Reinforcement requirements of BS 5950-1:200 were previously implemented but previously the Gravity Beam Design report listed the required reinforcement for the beam based on a reinforcement of fy = 460 N/mm2. With the increased use of reinforcement with fy = 500 N/mm2, the transverse reinforcement checks performed in that report now uses reinforcement fy = 500 N/mm2. Note that for the Transverse Reinforcement Check report the user can specify any value of fy, but the default is 500 N/mm2 instead of 460 N/mm2.

Eurocode EN 1994-1-1:2004 Transverse Reinforcement  

The Transverse Reinforcement requirements of Eurocode EN 1994-1-1:2004 (and EN 1992-1-1:2004) have been implemented in the RAM Steel Beam module. The Gravity Beam Design report lists the required reinforcement for the beam with various configurations of sheeting fyp, thickness and continuity, allowing the engineer to determine which configuration is most suitable. The Transverse Reinforcement Check report lists all of the beams for which the specified sheeting fyp and thickness, and reinforcement fyk and reinforcement area is insufficient, for conditions of sheeting continuous or discontinuous (if applicable), and the area of reinforcement that would be required to satisfy the transfer reinforcement requirements.


Modeler Enhancements

  • Deck and Load Labels

In addition to displaying labels for Surface loads and Decks, labels are now displayed for Line and Point loads.


  • Deck and Load Show Same

Each of the Loads commands now includes a Show Same button. When the Show Same command is invoked a list of the loads appears. When one of the loads in the list is selected all of the loads in the layout that have been assigned that load property are highlighted.


The Deck Assign command now has similar functionality; when a deck property is selected from the list, all of the deck polygons that have been assigned that property are highlighted.

  • Deck and Surface Load Change Priority

A Change Priority command has been implemented for Decks and Surface Loads that allows the user to change the order that Deck polygons and Surface Load polygons are considered by the program. When this command is selected, all of the polygons that have been created in that layout are listed, in order from top to bottom. The polygons can be moved up or down in the list. For example, a surface load polygon that has been completely covered by another polygon can be moved to the top where it can be deleted; previously all of the polygons on top of that polygon would have had to be deleted first in order to delete that one.


  • Slab and Opening Edge Change

The slab and opening edge distances can now be changed by selecting a new Overhang value and then selecting an existing overhang. This can be done in either Single or Fence mode, allow the change to be made for a single Edge or for multiple Edges. Previously a change required the user to replace the old edge by laying down a new edge over the top of the old one; now it can be changed merely by clicking on it or fencing it.

  • Slab and Opening Edge Move

Slab edges and Opening edges can now be moved by selecting one end and dragging it to its new location. This is convenient when an edge has been laid down incorrectly or when the edges or openings need to be moved. Previously this would require that the edge be deleted from its old location and modeled in its new location.

  • Brace Point Modeling

In addition to the previous ability to assign an individual brace point at some specified distance along an individual beam, a beam flange brace point can now be modeled at a distance specified as a function of % of span and assigned to a set of beams using a fence command. Also multiple brace points can be generated by specifying the Brace Spacing, Number of Equal Spaces per Brace, or Equal Spacing per Brace, Not to Exceed a specified distance, either on a single beam or on a set of beams using a fence command. These brace points are used in the determination of the unbraced length in the design of the beams. These brace points can be assigned to both Gravity and Frame beams, and are used to indicate locations where ‘kickers’, or flange braces, are to be constructed.



  • Allowing Point Loads with CDL greater than DL

Previously the program did not allow the user to specify a value of Construction Dead Load (CDL) that was greater than the Dead Load (DL). This is due to the fact that dead loads that occur during the pre-composite (construction) stage become part of the total dead load on the beam, so the program required the CDL to be a portion of the DL. This has been changed for Point Loads, for which CDL values can now be specified that are greater than DL (although a warning is given by the program). The purpose of this change is to provide a way to assign CDL to a transfer girder. The program makes the assumption that transfer girders are acting in their composite state before the transfer column loads are applied. This is generally – but not always – the  case, so the program does not apply any CDL load from the transfer column in the precomposite design of the transfer girder, it applies it all as DL on the post-composite section. In some cases the actual construction sequence is such that a floor (or floors) above the transfer girder is erected and concrete placed prior to the transfer girder reaching its composite strength; in that case a Point load can now be applied to the transfer girder that only includes the CDL that should be applied from the transfer column but is ignored by the program (that is, the program will assume there is no CDL from the column, but it will use the CDL from the assigned Point load).


RAM Steel Beam

  • Assign Size:

An Assign Size command has been implemented allowing the user to assign sizes to beams without the necessity of going back to the Modeler or of performing a View/Update Update Database on each individual beam. The assignment can be made in either Single or Fence mode, and can be made on Steel beams, Steel Joists, SMARTBEAMS, and Westok Cellular Beams.

  • Cambering Beams with Cantilevers:

An option has been added to the Camber Criteria to allow the user to specify that beams with cantilevers are not to be cambered.

  • Frame Beams:
    • When the option to Show Sizes is invoked, the size labels on Frame beams are now also shown (previously only the labels on Gravity beams were shown).
    • When performing a View/Update on a Frame beam, the Update Database command is now available.
    • Frame Beams are now included in the Transverse Reinforcement Check report for BS 5950 and Eurocode EC 4
  •  Steel Joist Design report:

When steel joists with nonuniform loads are selected, the report now lists the Maximum Allowable Total Uniform Load at any location. Previously that information was missing from the report. 

RAM Frame

  • Ritz Vectors:

For the calculation for structural periods and modes the program now has the option to perform the calculations using Ritz Vectors, in addition to the option to use Eigen Vectors available previously. This methodology is an approximate method that produces results that are the same or nearly the same as the Eigen analysis. It will more reliably converge on the solution even when the Eigen analysis may not, and will more reliably capture the lateral structural modes whereas the Eigen analysis sometimes calculates and reports irrelevant vertical modes due to vertical vibration of slabs (although those are real modes, they are not relevant to the structural analysis and the attempt to calculate such modes may inhibit the successful wind or lateral analysis of the structure). The method of Ritz vectors also has the advantage of being generally faster.



  • Beam-to-Wall Constraint:

An option has been added to include a Rigid Link in the wall elements at the locations where fixed-end beams frame into walls. The rigid link appears to provide better results; without the rigid link the node at the beam-wall intersection tends to rotate excessively in the analysis. It is recommended that this option be selected for models with beams (that are fixed at the ends) framing into walls.

  • Drift Control Points and Lambda Critical Control Points:

Previously the number of control points allowed for the Drift – At Control Points command was limited to four sets of coordinate points. This has been increased to ten points. The BS 5950 Lambda Critical – At Control Points command has likewise been expanded to permit ten points.

  • B2:

The AISC 360 Direct Analysis Validation report has been enhanced to always calculate and show B2 (the ratio of 2nd order drift to 1st order drift), even if B2 was not specified to be applied to the design moments. This is useful information when evaluating the need to use the Direct Analysis Method and in determining the need to include Notional Loads with all load combinations or with the gravity-only combinations.

  • Tension-only Analysis:

When the model includes tension-only members a special set of analyses is performed. The tension-only analysis has been enhanced to eliminate the instability warnings that sometimes occurred during analysis previously, especially when the analysis was combined with a P-delta analysis.

  • Reactions in Load Combination Mode

Reactions can now be shown onscreen in Load Combination mode, which means that the reactions are shown for the selected Load Combination.

  • Seismic Provisions

Some enhancements have been made to the Steel Seismic Provisions module.

    • AISC 358 Live and Snow Load Factors

Previously in the calculation of Muv the program included the gravity loads with the following load factors: 1.2D + 0.5L + 0.2S. The program has been enhanced so that when the AISC 358 option is selected, the factors to be used on Live Load and Snow Load can be specified by the user.

    • EBF Section F3.3 Exception (1)a

In Eccentrically Braced Frames, for the portions of beams outside the link, AISC 341 Section F3.3 Exception (1)a allows the effect of the horizontal force calculated in Section F3.3 to be multiplied by 0.88. An option to apply this Exception has been implemented in the Seismic Provision Codes dialog.

    • EBF Section F3.3 Exception (1)b

In Eccentrically Braced Frames, for columns in frames of three or more stories of bracing, AISC 341 Section F3.3 Exception (1)b allows the effect of the horizontal force calculated in Section F3.3 to be multiplied by 0.88. An option to apply this Exception has been implemented in the Seismic Provision Codes dialog.


RAM Concrete

  • Coupling Beams:

Shear strength of shear wall coupling beam sections in tension according to ACI code previously assumed Vc to be zero, which was the simpler of two possible methods. This has been enhanced to use section, 318-11 (and same section in earlier codes) in such cases.

  • Hyperstatic Load Cases:

The balanced (hyperstatic) forces load cases have been added to the IBC 2012 Concrete load combination templates. This is useful when importing data from RAM Concept for the design of the columns; the balanced forces due to the post-tensioning are included in the column design.


SJI Virtual Joist Girder Tables

Virtual Joist Girder tables provided by SJI are now included. These tables contain Joist Girder information as equivalent I-sections, and can be used to size Joist Girders. They should not be used to size standard Steel Joists, the program’s current steel joist design capabilities are sufficient for that. The advantage of using these tables is that the weight of the Joist Girder can be determined and the Takeoff report will include the weight of those Joist Girders. Also, one of these sizes can be assigned to a Frame beam allowing RAM Frame to analyze it as a moment frame utilizing a steel joist (not suitable in high seismic regions).

Caution should be taken when using these tables, and it is important to understand the limitations and assumptions associated with them. Contact SJI for more information.


ASTM A1085 HSS Shapes

New steel design tables are now included that include the HSS shapes conforming to ASTM A1085. HSS shapes conforming to this new specification have a much tighter tolerance, allowing the nominal dimensions to be used in calculating the section properties (under ASTM A500 for example, the section properties are calculated using a 0.93 reduction factor to account for the large dimensional tolerance). Thus these shapes have more favorable section properties. Furthermore these shapes have a higher yield strength, Fy = 50 ksi, so when specified the user should assign a value of Fy = 50 ksi in the Modeler. To use these shapes, select ramaiscwithA1085.tab as the Master table, ramaiscwithA1085.bms for the Beam Design table (if they are going to be used for beams), and the ramaiscwithA1085.col or ramaisc2withA1085.col for the Column Design table (if they are going to used for columns). It is important to verify availability before specifying these shapes. Contact the Steel Tube Institute for more information. Also see the AISC website:



Jumbo HSS Shapes

New square and rectangular HSS shapes are available in Jumbo sizes. See the AISC website:


These sizes have been added to the RAMAISC tables. Note that the section properties for these shapes are based on the 0.93 thickness reduction required for HSS’s conforming to ASTM A500, to maintain consistency with the other HSS sizes in the table. However, Atlas Tube, the supplier of these shapes indicates that these Jumbo shapes conform to a more stringent standard that does not require the 0.93 reduction factor to be applied. Thus the tables supplied by the program are conservative, and can be edited by the user if it is desired to use the full section properties. Contact Atlas Tube for more information regarding section properties and availability:



Arcelor Tables

ArcelorMittal produces jumbo I and L shapes for the US market. These shapes are now included in the AISC database of available shapes. These jumbo sizes have been added to the RAMAISC tables.



A steel Master table and a steel Beam Design table have been created that include Hyper Beams, wide-flange sizes produced by Nippon Steel. These sizes can be accessed by selecting the ramaiscplushyperbeam tables. When these tables are used the program will select standard AISC wide-flange sizes for smaller beams and Hyper Beam sizes for large beams.


The full V14.06 Release Notes can be found here.