RAM Structural System CONNECT Edition Update 5 Release 15.05 Release Notes
Release Date: July 19, 2017
This document contains important information regarding changes to the RAM Structural System. It is important that all users are aware of these changes. Please distribute these Release Notes and make them available to all users of the RAM Structural System.
Bentley CONNECT offers several benefits, and the value continues to increase with each new release. Listed here are three key features.
When you sign in to your Bentley account you now have easy access to CONNECTION Center. This personalized portal 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 personal portal also lists your recent projects with a portal into analytics on that project. CONNECTION Center can be accessed by selecting the Sign In command in the upper right corner of the RAM Manager screen.
If you do not already have a Bentley ID, go to http://www.bentley.com/profile and select the Sign Up Now link.
All of Bentley’s CONNECT Edition programs, including 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 will enable analytics to be performed and reported for the project.
A ProjectWise Projects portal enables you and your project teams to see project details required to evaluate team activity and understand project performance.
When a model is Saved in this version the program will ask for a Project to which the file is to be associated. Projects can be registered (created) from your Personal Portal, or from the Assign Project dialog by selecting the + Register Project command.
Notification is given when an updated version of the RAM Structural System is available. The update can be downloaded and installed simply by selecting the link in the notification.
The Tutorial Manual has not been updated but is still valid. The appearance of some parts of the program in this version may differ from that shown in the Tutorial.
This version automatically converts databases created in previous versions to the new database format. Note that a backup file is created automatically when a database is converted; the name of the database is the same, with “Orig” and the version number appended to the name. The file has an extension of “.zip” and is located in the same directory as the original database.The previous steel tables and load combination templates supplied with the program will be replaced with new tables and templates of the same name. If you have customized any Master or Design tables or load combination templates supplied with the program without changing the file names, those file names should be renamed from the original RAM table names prior to installation to prevent your changes from being lost.
This version can be found on the Bentley Software Fulfilment web page by logging into the Personal Portal or the Enterprise Portal and selecting the Software Downloads icon. Perform a search for “RAM Structural System”, select any of the RAM Structural System modules (e.g., RAM Modeler; they all use the same installer), and select the latest version of the RAM Structural System.
Product Licensing FAQ:
Appendix C contains a document describing features available in the RAM Structural System to help prevent inadvertent use of unlicensed modules. Refer to that document for more information.
New Features and Enhancements:
For details on these new features and enhancements, refer to the manual .pdf files available from the Help menu in each module or from the Manuals folder on your hard drive.
Each module has a button in the tool bar to invoke the CONNECT Advisor. The CONNECT Advisor provides links to pertinent Bentley courses, YouTube videos, Bentley Communities wikis and articles, and manuals. This provides timely information to help you better learn the capabilities of the program.
The requirements of ACI 318-14 have been implemented in the RAM Concrete module.
Note: For frame walls were special boundary elements are required, Section 126.96.36.199(b) requires a boundary zone width of hu/16, where hu is the height between braced levels. Typically this is the panel height (story height), but it is possible that walls may span through multiple levels without being braced at those levels. In the current implementation, the program uses the panel height for this check, which is unconservative if the wall spans multiple levels. This will be addressed more comprehensively in a future version.
Load combination templates for steel, concrete, and foundation design based on the IBC 2015 requirements have been added.
Construction Stage Analysis
The ability to analyze the structure by construction stages has been implemented. The stage sequence can be assigned by story or by individual members, and the structure analyzed by stages for dead load. These results can then be used instead of the traditional dead load analysis. This type of analysis is especially appropriate for taller concrete structures; it acknowledges that the dead loads are applied to the structure as it is built, not suddenly after it is built. In RAM Frame, the Criteria – Construction Stage Analysis command is used to specify stages, by story. That command is also used to specify that these results are to be used in place of the traditional Dead Load analysis. The Assign – Stage Number command can be used to assign stage numbers to individual members, if different than the Stage Number otherwise assigned to the members on that story. Care should be taken when using this command not to create an unstable condition for a given stage. The Construction Stage Analysis load case can be created using the Loads – Load Cases command. Construction Stage Numbers can be displayed using the Construction Stage option in the View – Members command (or using the Construction Stage Numbers button on the tool bar). Members can be displayed stage-by-stage using the Show Stages button on the tool bar.
Diaphragm Section Forces
For semirigid diaphragms the forces across any section cut line can be reported. This is useful for obtaining the diaphragm forces used in the design of the diaphragm. This is done using the Reports – Diaphragm Forces command, selecting a Plan view, and clicking and dragging the cutline at any location on a semirigid diaphragm. Note that in order for these results to be available it is necessary to select the “Store diaphragm forces” option in the Criteria – General command.
Diaphragm Stiffness Modifiers
In addition to the ability to specify cracked section properties for concrete semirigid diaphragms that was previously available, the user can now optionally specify diaphragm stiffness modifiers for all semirigid diaphragms. The modifiers can be specified for each of the six degrees of freedom of the diaphragm elements. This is done in the Modeler using the PropTable – Decking command.
Several India standards have been implemented for analysis and design of Steel buildings:
Global Axis Display
There is now an option to display an indicator of the global axis, located at the origin of the model.
Eurocode Buckling Resistance Moment Capacity for I-Sections
The buckling resistance moment capacity, Md,Rd, for I-Sections previously relied on the provisions of BS EN 1993-1-1:2005 Section 188.8.131.52. The provisions of Section 184.108.40.206 are now used in determining Mb,Rd for wide-flanged sections. The capacities for all other shapes are still evaluated per the requirements of Section 220.127.116.11.
Castellated and Cellular Beams
Previously in the program, castellated and cellular beams were referred to as SMARTBEAMs. They are no longer marketed or produced under that name. These beams are now called C-BeamsTM and are produced by SteelFab, Inc. The design is unchanged.
Mat foundations can now be export to ISM.
This version contains two powerful features that have been designated Technology Preview features. They are features that are in a state that would previously been referred to as a Beta version. These two features are Analytical Insights and SQLite database of result. It is likely that these features will continue to undergo revisions based on feedback from users. Care should be taken if these are used for actual design, because they are still in the process of being revised; they have not gone through the rigorous testing process. They are being made available so that you can use them with real models in real design situations, and provide us with feedback and suggestions for making these features more useable and productive.
Analytical Insights – Technology Preview
The Analytical Insights feature analyzes your model and compares them with a set of Structural Performance Indicators (SPI). These SPI’s can be configured to conform to your office standards and practices, and prioritized according to their importance. Your model is then scored based on these SPI’s helping you identify possible changes to the model to make it more economical or constructable. See Appendix A for more information.
SQLite Database of Analysis and Design Results – Technology Preview
In order to more easily access the geometry and analysis data, this data is now written out to SQLite files. A report generator is provided that can be used to create a .xlsx file that can then be used in spreadsheets in Excel. The file can be customized to contain the information that you want made available. See Appendix B at the end of this document for more information.
Some program errors have been corrected for Version 15.05. Corrections made to graphics, reports, Modeler functions, program crashes, etc that were considered minor are not listed here. The noteworthy error corrections are listed here in order to notify you that they have been corrected or to assist you in determining the impact of those errors on previous designs. These errors were generally obscure and uncommon, affecting only a very small percentage of models, or had no impact on the results. The errors, when they occurred, were generally quite obvious. However, if there is any question, it may be advisable to reanalyze previous models to determine the impact, if any. In each case the error only occurred for the precise conditions indicated. Those errors that may have resulted in un-conservative designs are shown with an asterisk. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
DXF FILES IN MICROSTATION CE: DXF files created in RAM Structural System could not be opened in MicroStation CE due to unrecognized spaces before numbers.
Effect: MicroStation could not open DXF files created in RAM Structural System.
RECTANGULAR STEEL TUBE ORIENTATION: The orientation of rectangular steel tubes was off by 90 degrees in the floor framing plan DXF.
Effect: Rectangular tubes were drawn rotated 90 degrees from their true orientation.
RIGID LINKS: If rigid links were modeled to create offset beams, and the grid associated with one end of the beam was moved, and the layout type was moved on more than one level, the rigid links were not updated to their new location at all of the levels where the floor type was used.
Effect: In a rare set of conditions as explained, rigid links were not updated at some levels if the grid associated with them was moved.
LOADS ON SLOPED GRAVITY WALLS*: When Gravity walls are supported by Frame walls, the program tracks the loads of the gravity walls and transfers them down to those Frame walls below. However, if the top of the Gravity walls were sloped, Line and Point loads on such gravity walls were mishandled while transferring them to Frame walls below.
Effect: Line and Point loads modeled on sloping Gravity walls supported by Frame walls below were lost, and not applied to the Frame walls. The error did not occur if the Gravity walls were not sloping.
RAM Steel Beam
COMPACT CHANNELS AISC 360: Some compact channel sizes designed according to AISC 360 were flagged as slender and skipped during optimization.
Effect: During optimization some compact channels were erroneously tagged as slender and skipped. Some frozen compact channels were flagged as slender and not designed. Previously these channels were designed correctly.
VIEW/UPDATE DEFLECTION INTERACTION: The deflection interaction value displayed in the View/Update dialog box was incorrect for beams that were modeled as composite beams but had to be designed non-compositely because the required number of studs wouldn’t fit.
Effect: While designs and reports for composite beams designed non-compositely were correct, the value displayed for the deflection interaction in the View Update dialog box was incorrect.
BEAM OPTIMIZATION*: During optimization ASD 9th and LRFD 3rd Edition may have “selected”, as optimum, beam sizes that actually failed, and did not continue to investigate heavier beams until the correct size was found.
Effect: While optimizing sizes using the ASD 9th and LRFD 3rd Edition codes, some beams failing the pre-composite or non-composite checks were presented as optimized designs. Even though the size was not actually the size that should have been selected as the optimized size, the Failed interactions for the selected beam size was correctly reported and the color coding correctly indicated as failed. The failed beams could only be corrected through user size assignments. This could be somewhat common for multi-segmented beams and LRFD beams governed by 1.4DL combination.
COMPOSITE CELLULAR AND CASTELLATED BEAMS: In View/Update for composite cellular and castellated beams, the number of studs could not be modified and analyzed.
Effect: User could not assign the number of studs to be used, the program always only used the optimized number of studs.
C-BEAM CAMBER: When C-Beams (formerly called SMARTBEAMS) are optimized, the design gives an acceptable range of Spacing or Diameter (for Cellular) and a range of Phi (for Castellated). This means that there is a corresponding range of member depths and section properties, and as a result, a range of deflection values. The program reported camber consistent with the worst strength interaction rather than the worst deflection encountered. Effect: Report error only. The reported camber may have been inconsistent with the reported components of the worst deflection encountered. The reported camber was correct for the hole configuration associated with the worst strength interaction value, but was not necessarily correct for the hole configuration that caused the greatest deflection.
RAM Steel Column
USER-SPECIFIED COLUMN BRACING*: When a new column was added in the Modeler that did not fall on an existing column line, or if a new story was added, any user-assigned column bracing was being cleared unnecessarily.
Effect: User-assigned bracing of columns (done using the Assign – Bracing command) may have been cleared and the program then used the program-calculated bracing of columns. Although usually conservative, this could result in unconservative designs if the user specified that the column was unbraced (but that information got cleared) at a level that the program determined was braced.
AS 4100-98 TENSION AND BENDING*: An incorrect gamma may have been used for columns under combined tensile and bending forces.
Effect: Columns under tensile and bending loads may have passed designs when an incorrect gamma value of 1.4 was used, when they should have failed using the correct higher gamma value per the requirements of AS 4100-98 Section 8.3.4.
AS 4100-98 COMPRESSION-ONLY: Some compression-only columns were indicated as failed for exceeding delta-b > 1.4, even though the provisions of section 18.104.22.168 were not applicable.
Effect: The provisions of section 22.214.171.124 were erroneously applied to compression-only columns. Some compression-only columns were not designed due to the erroneous application of the provision.
AISC 360-05 and -10 AXIAL CAPACITY*: In the Controlling Axial Column Load section of the Gravity Column Design report, the value listed for axial capacity Pn was only based on Section E3. That is correct for most columns, but if the axial capacity should have been controlled by some other Section of Chapter E, the reported value was incorrect.
Effect: In rare cases the axial capacity listed in that section of the report may have been incorrect. Note that the capacity used and reported in the Controlling Combined Column Loads section was correct, so there was no impact on design except for the following condition: if Pr/Pc was less than 0.2 (so that Equation H1-1b is specified), it is possible that Pr/Pc listed in the Controlling Axial Column Load section controlled rather than Eq (H1-1b) (since in that equation Pr/Pc is divided by 2); the design would potentially be unconservative if that value was incorrectly calculated as described. It was extremely unlikely that this set of conditions would actually result in an unconservative design.
RAM Concrete Analysis
SLAB SELF-WEIGHT MISSED*: Slab self-weight was not determined and applied to two-way slabs.
Effect: Slab self-weight was missing from the slab Dead Load.
RAM Concrete Beam
ACI TRANSVERSE HOOP SPACING*: If there was more than one layer of flexural reinforcement and the bar sizes varied between those layers, the maximum transverse reinforcement spacing (which is based on the flexural bar diameters, see ACI 318-11 Section 126.96.36.199) for the seismic provisions may have been incorrect, failing to consider all of the bar sizes in all of the layers; the program only considered the bar sizes in the first reinforcement layer, dismissing the bar diameters of the other reinforcement layers.
Effect: Potentially incorrect (unconservative) hoop spacing.
ACI GRAVITY BEAM TRANSVERSE REINFORCEMENT*: Gravity beams in structures assigned to Seismic Design Category D, E, or F, for which the moments and shears due to the induced displacements have not been calculated, are required to conform to ACI 318-14 Section 18.6.5, according to Section 188.8.131.52 (or analogous clauses in earlier codes). The shear force Ve was not considered as required in Section 184.108.40.206, and Vc was not being set to 0.0, as required in Section 220.127.116.11.
Effect: Potentially inadequate transverse reinforcement in gravity beams in Seismic Design Category D, E, or F.
RAM Concrete Column
ACI SMF TRANSVERSE SEGMENT LENGTH*: Requirements for ACI 318-11 clause 18.104.22.168 were incorrectly applied.
Effect: The length lo for transverse reinforcing may have been inadequate when ACI 318-11 22.214.171.124 applied.
ACI TRANSVERSE SPACING IN SMF COLUMNS: The requirements for reinforcement spacing beyond the length specified in ACI 318-11 126.96.36.199 in SMF columns was being calculated according ACI 318-11 188.8.131.52. However, those segments should be checked per 184.108.40.206.
Effect: A conservative spacing of transverse reinforcement through the central segment of SMF columns may have been specified.
ACI TRANSVERSE REINFORCEMENT*: When determining Vc according to clause 220.127.116.11 of ACI318-11 (or earlier), the maximum value of the axial load on the column from all load combination, rather than the axial load for each load combination, was used against the prescribed limit. This may have led to Vc not being set to zero for some load combinations as required by the code.
Effect: Transverse reinforcement may have been inadequate.
SQUARE COLUMNS*: In very rare instances, for some square symmetrically reinforced columns where a critical point was very, very close to the axis, there could have been differences between the interaction curves at orientation angle 0 versus 90.
Effect: In a very rare case the interaction curve data used in design may have been incorrect.
AS 3600-09 COLUMN DESIGN*: When AS 3600-09 was selected as the design code, in certain instances the program was using some AS 3600-01 code requirements to design columns.
Effect: Incorrect AS 3600-09 column designs.
EUROCODE DESIGN: When using the EC2 design code, the critical major and minor shear forces (VEd) reported in the report were not the actual critical shear forces used in design. This was a reporting only error; the correct shear forces were used in the design and could be viewed in the V/U dialog.
Effect: Report error only, the values reported for shear were incorrect.
CHINA GB50010 SHEAR: The shear forces for major and minor axis for the Chinese design code (GB50010) were reversed in the View/Update dialog. This was a reporting only issue; the correct forces were used in the design.
Effect: Report error only, the shear values displayed in View/Update were reversed.
COLUMN CURVES: In rare instances, when designing a column to the ACI design code, the column PMM curve in the View/Update dialog might have displayed incorrectly for particular angle or angles. The cause of this was an incorrect interpolation due to points on the curve that happened to be in very close proximity. This may have also lead to unexpected capacity design failure.
Effect: In rare cases column designs may have incorrectly been listed as failing, and the PMM curve diagram may have been incorrect.
RAM Frame – Analysis
OVERLAPPING SURFACE LOADS ON TWO-WAY DECKS*: The program may have missed gravity loads on two-way decks when there were overlapping surface loads.
Effect: Gravity loads due to overlapping surface loads on two-way decks may have been missed in RAM Frame.
AS/NZS 1170.2:2002 WIND LOADS*: When wind speeds were entered in metric or SI units, the values were not correctly stored, resulting in incorrect wind forces.
Effect: Incorrect wind forces. Note: to correct this error in existing models it is necessary to re-enter the AS/NZS Load Cases wind speed values.
CENTER OF RIGIDITY REPORT: The report showed values for center of rigidity locations for semirigid diaphragms. Center of rigidity calculations are only valid for rigid diaphragms.
Effect: Invalid values were shown for diaphragms that were designated as semirigid.
BUILDING STORY SHEAR REPORT: If the Building Story Shear report was generated only for a few selected response spectra cases, the reported dynamic shears were not correct.
Effect: Incorrect dynamic load case shears were reported if the report was generated for only some of the dynamic load cases; if all dynamic load cases were included, the reported dynamic shears were correct. This was a report error only, and did not affect designs.
INCORRECT REACTIONS REPORTED IN ANALYSIS LOG REPORT: For models with walls that terminate at a level other than the lowest level (such as for buildings with partial basements), the Analysis Log report showed reactions in X and Y directions for gravity load cases. Since gravity loads are only applied in vertical directions, no reactions for X and Y directions are expected. For such models, the program inserts foundation nodes under the wall, but the report failed to consider foundation reactions from such nodes.
Effect: Report issue only.
RAM Frame – Steel Standard Provisions
AISC 360-10 SECTION H1.3: The provisions of section H1.3 were erroneously applied to members subjected to both tension and compression.
Effect: Potentially conservative design of tension members. Members subjected to tension were checked for the provisions of section H1.3 when such provisions only apply to compression members.
SLENDER MEMBER WARNING*: In some cases slender members were not flagged as such for the AISC 360, AS 4100 and CAN S16-09 codes.
Effect: Sizes may have been indicated as acceptable even though they exceeded the slender member limits (e.g., KL/r > 200) for some load combinations.
RAM Frame – Steel Seismic Provisions
BUCKLING RESTRAINED BRACED FRAME REPORT: User-assigned Stiffness Modifiers (SM) were not correctly reflected in the BRBF Summary report. When the system units changed from SI or Metric to English, the reported Keff was incorrect.
Effect: The BRBF Summary Report showed an incorrect effective stiffness (Keff) for braces where a stiffness modifier was assigned. Furthermore, for reports where the system units was metric or SI, no unit conversion was performed on the reported Keff values. This was a report problem only, the code checks for all BRBF braces were correctly performed.
BRACE FORCES ON FOUNDATIONS*: When a frame column and a brace frame down to the same location on a foundation, in a very rare case the node associated with the bottom of the brace may be different than the node associated with the bottom of the column. If the vertical distance between those two nodes varied by more than the strict tolerance used by the program the forces from the brace were not imposed on the footing.
Effect: In a very rare occasion, foundations supporting both a column and a brace at a point may have been designed only for the column load. The tolerance has been liberalized to ensure that this no longer occurs.
RAM Concept Link
WALLS NOT EXPORTING: Walls with 0" slab edges or slab opening offsets were not imported into RAM Concept from RAM Structural System.
Effect: Walls on perimeter of floor or at openings, with 0” edge offsets, were not included in the data exported to RAM Concept.
ISM / Structural Synchronizer
Several ISM defects were corrected, including several that caused the program to crash when creating or updating an ISM repository. Errors that caused models created from a repository to have problems analyzing in the RAM Structural System were also corrected. The more notable corrections are noted here.
PILE CAPS: The inclusion of pile caps with certain orientations caused the ISM process to crash.
Effect: Program crash during creation of ISM file. Pile caps now successfully export to ISM.
DUPLICATE COLUMNS: When creating a new repository, duplicate columns may have been generated.
Effect: Duplicate columns in the ISM model.
COLUMN HOOKS: Edge column longitudinal reinforcing bar hooks extended out of the concrete.
Effect: Bar hooks extended beyond concrete edges. Now all column longitudinal reinforcing bars end hooks are oriented towards the center of the column.
Technology Preview – Analytical Insights
Information on Analytical Insights can be found at this link: Appendix A Analytical Insights.
Technology Preview – RAM Structural System data available through SQLite
Enabling the Feature
This feature is now automatically available. In the previous version (v15.04) it was necessary to modify the ramis.ini file in order to enable it. That is no longer necessary. If you modified the ramis.ini file previously by adding the line WriteDataToExternalDatabase=1, you can now delete it.
Two SQLite files are generated by the RAM Structural System. A file with geometric data can be created by invoking the Post-Processing – Export Geometry to SQlite command in RAM Manager. The second file is created in RAM Frame as part of the Analysis. To write the analysis results to SQLite, select the check box at the bottom of the dialog that says "Write Results to SQLite database."
These files are part of the model. They are initially written to the working directory and then saved into the .rss file.
A report generator that reads the SQLite database tables and creates reports in Excel has been added to the RAM Manager. The commands to run the viewer are located under the Post-Processing menu. The report generator can be run in two different ways: