Release Date: October 25, 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 two 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.
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 at the end of these Notes 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.
Security Risk Advisory:
Not applicable to this release. Every effort is made to ensure that there are no security risks in the software. There are no known security issues, no issues were addressed in this version.
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.
ACI 318-11 and ACI 318-14 in RAM Foundation
The requirements of ACI 318-11 and ACI 318-14 have now been implemented in RAM Foundation.
Concrete T-Beam Graphics
Concrete T-beams are now drawn with the actual dimensions in the 3D viewer. Previously they were displayed with a generic T-beam shape. In the Modeler the section table in the Concrete Beam Section Properties command now lists the three component values (left overhang, web thickness, and right overhang) specified by the user to define the flange thickness, e.g., “24+12+24”.
Wind Loads on Semi-rigid Diaphragms
For semi-rigid diaphragms, when the ASCE 7-10 wind loads are controlled by the minimum 16 psf requirement of Section 27.1.5 Minimum Design Wind Loads, the program now splits that pressure between the windward face and leeward face, based on the relative windward and leeward Cp factors. Previously when the minimum 16psf controlled, it was all applied to the windward face.
It was somewhat common to get Instability warnings when analyzing models with noncomposite roofs analyzed as semi-rigid diaphragms. These were caused by some numerical problems dealing with small stiffness values rather than from actual structural instability. Some modifications were made to how those deck stiffnesses are handled, which should significantly reduce the occurrence of this warning.
Section Cut Geometry Errors
In RAM Concrete Shearwall, error messages are given when there are Geometry Errors in the Section cuts. Those messages now include the Section Cut label so that the location can be more easily identified.
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 at the end of this document 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 files from which the data can be accessed. 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 15.06. 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.
INSTALLING RAM STRUCTURAL SYSTEM TO A CUSTOM LOCATION: During installation the license files were not installed into the correct location if for a new install the Program folder was changed from the default folder, or if for a reinstall the location of the program folder was changed from the location pointed to by the ramis.ini file.
Effect: The RAM Structural System would not run. Required manually moving license files to repair the install.
NOT ENOUGH DISK SPACE ERROR: When performing a Save for very large models, an error message indicating Not Enough Disk Space was sometimes erroneously given.
Effect: Save would not occur.
HANGERS: If a hanger was modeled at a location on a layout type where a mat foundation had been modeled as part of that same layout, the model connected the hanger to the mat below rather than the framing above.
Effect: Incorrect hangers. When it occurred, the error was obvious.
FRAME NUMBERS: When assigning Frame Numbers, the Modeler was limited to an integer less than 32767 while RAM Frame allowed significantly larger values. Both programs are now consistent and permit Frame Number values of up to 2147483647.
Effect: Large Frame Numbers could only be assigned in RAM Frame.
RAM Steel Beam
JOIST TABLE SELECTION: The Criteria – Joist command allows the selection of the steel joist table to be changed, but that table selection was ignored by the program.
Effect: Joist table selection could not be changed in the Criteria – Joist command, it could only be done in the Criteria – Design Steel Tables command in the Manager.
VIEW/UPDATE STRENGTH INTERACTION: The governing interaction displayed in the View Update dialog box for composite beams may not have been in correct.
Effect: Although the beam designs were correct, the governing strength interaction shown in the View/Update dialog box for composite beams way not have shown the worst interaction captured by the design report. This was a dialog display error only.
FRAME BEAM CAMBER: When new beam sizes were assigned to Frame beams in the Modeler, camber values from previously assigned or optimized beam sizes were displayed when the Show Designs command was selected in the Steel Beam module.
Effect: Display error only. The Show Designs command displayed Camber values on Frame beams that may have been the camber required for an earlier assigned size. Beam designs where correct, and reports correctly showed the required camber for Frame beams.
RAM Steel Column
BRACE POINTS DISPLAY: Bracing points for columns were displayed improperly if the footing elevation had been changed from the story height.
Effect: Display error only, did not impact the designs.
ASSIGN BRACING CLEARED USER-ASSIGNED SIZES: When bracing was assigned using the Assign - Bracing command, user assigned (frozen) sizes were cleared.
Effect: Size would be optimized with the next design, and the user-specified size would not be retained.
HANGER SKIP LOADING*: When skip loading is permitted, the Top and Bottom skip loading for hangers were flipped. The Top skip load case was applied to the bottom of the hanger and the Bottom skip load case was applied to the top.
Effect: Skip load cases applied to the top and bottom of hangers were incorrectly performed. The top skip load cases were applied to the bottom of the hanging column and the bottom skip load cases were applied to the top of the hanger.
RAM Concrete Beam
CAPACITY AT SPLICES: When different bar sizes occurred at a splice the program calculated the development length for each bar set individually leading to inconsistencies in flexural capacity in the spliced region. The program now considers the provisions of ACI 318-14 section 188.8.131.52 and 184.108.40.206 to determine the appropriate development length and capacity at a splice.
Effect: Potentially incorrect capacities reported at splices.
ACI 318 Mpr*: When additional bars have been added to satisfy detailing requirements, the calculated value of Mpr of an optimized beam may not have reflected the actual number of provided bars.
Effect: Potential underestimation of the special provisions shear requirement.
RAM Concrete Column
ACI 318-11 SECTION 220.127.116.11 COLUMN CAPACITY: In the special provision section of the Concrete Column report, the maximum nominal moment capacity arising from all combinations was reported instead of the minimum nominal moment capacity.
Effect: Report error only. Incorrect value for Mn was reported.
SPIRAL REINFORCEMENT SPACING*: When designing columns to ACI 318-11 or earlier, using spiral transverse reinforcement, the limitation on spacing of Section 18.104.22.168 was not checked.
Effect: Spiral reinforcement spacing may have been greater than allowed.
ACI 318-11 SECTION 22.214.171.124 TRANSVERSE REINFORCEMENT*: When determining Vc according to Section 126.96.36.199 of ACI318-11 (or earlier), the maximum value of the axial load on the column considering all load combinations, rather than the axial load associated with a given load combination, was used when investigating Section 188.8.131.52(b).
Effect: Because the program was only considering the maximum Pu, it may have erroneously determined that the condition of Section 184.108.40.206(b) was not met for any combination, and hence did not enforce the requirement of Vc = 0 for any of the combinations even though it possibly should have been enforced for some load combinations (that had smaller Pu values).
AISC 318 SPIRAL TIES*: Columns with spiral ties were not checked against the minimum number of six longitudinal bars.
Effect: Four was incorrectly used as the minimum.
RAM Concrete Shearwall
COUPLING BEAM CRITERIA: Criteria specified by the user in the Criteria – Coupling Beam Criteria command was getting reset to the default values whenever that command was invoked.
Effect: After specifying coupling beam criteria settings, those user-specified settings were being used by the program. However, if that criteria command was invoked again the user-specified settings were lost.
SHEAR CAPACITY*: When a shear wall section cut contained two or more panels, the program erroneously used the axial load on the entire section cut, rather than the axial load in an individual panel, when determining the shear capacity for the panel per ACI 318.
Effect: Using a larger axial load than actual on a panel, the shear capacity of that panel may have been over-stated.
DIAGONAL REINFORCEMENT: ACI 318-11 Sections 220.127.116.11 and 18.104.22.168 define the requirements for reinforcement of coupling beams; in some cases diagonal reinforcement is not required, it is optional. For such a condition the user can specify an option to “Use diagonal reinforcing”. This option was being ignored, and diagonal reinforcing was being specified even if it wasn’t required and the user had not selected that option.
Effect: Diagonal reinforcement was specified in coupling beams even if it wasn’t required.
RAM Frame – Analysis
DATA CORRUPTION: In rare cases the model data was getting corrupted. The data that identified the type of element (beam, column, wall, etc.) was corrupted.
Effect: The error was manifest in several ways: for example, program crash, Assign commands inoperative, View/Update command inoperative, etc. If the corrupt member is identified, deleting and remodeling that member solves the problem.
WIND ON LEVELS WITHOUT FRAME MEMBERS*: If an upper level (such as a penthouse roof) has no Frame members, the program automatically transfers (combines) the wind load down to the nearest level with Frame members, if the diaphragm is Rigid. However, if that nearest level with Frame members was specified as Semirigid, the wind load was not carried down and applied.
Effect: The wind loads from such levels (levels with no Frame members and for which the diaphragm below was specified as Semirigid) was lost.
DIAPRAGM SECTION CUTS: In some cases the diaphragm section cut lines were not recognized, even for simple configurations, and the Diaphragm Forces report could not be obtained.
Effect: Diaphragm Forces report could not be obtained for some cross-section locations.
RAM Frame – Steel Standard Provisions
AISC 360 JOINT CODE CHECK SUMMARY REFERENCES: Incorrect joint check references were listed in the AISC 360 Joint Code Check Summary Report.
Effect: Although joint code checks for AISC 360 specification were correctly performed, the Joint Code Check Summary Report referenced chapter K of the LRFD 3rd Edition rather than section J10 of AISC 360.
GENERIC BUCKLING RESTRAINED BRACE AXIAL CAPACITY: The axial capacity calculated according to the AISC 360 specification for generic buckling restrained brace shapes other than Angles, HSS, Channels and Doubly Symmetric members designed was incorrect, it was always 0.0.
Effect: While Angles, HSS, Channels and Doubly Symmetric generic buckling restrained brace shapes were correctly designed per the AISC 360 Specification, the axial capacity for all other BRB shapes was incorrect calculated as 0.0. These incorrectly designed shapes may have been reported as failing when they should have otherwise passed the design checks.
Web Local Yielding*: The Web Local Yielding limit state for all US codes performed for joints found at the tops of columns may have increased the bearing length N or Lb by taking the maximum of the bearing beam's flange thickness and the joint's column k dimension (distance from column flange to web toe), rather than just using the flange thickness.
Effect: While all joint code checks for US codes were correctly performed for all interior joints, the Web Local Yielding check for joints at the tops of columns may have been evaluated with an incorrect bearing length N or Lb.
RAM Frame – Steel Seismic Provisions
BRBF AND SCBF BEAM CODE CHECK SUMMARY: The summary report for BRBF and SCBF beams with V or Inverted-V brace configurations having Frame Type BRB or SCBF rather than BRB-V or SCBF-V respectively incorrectly stated that the frame type was not a valid designation, for sections F4.3 and F2.3 respectively.
Effect: While code checks for BRBF and SCBF beams were correct, the Code Check Summary note for section F4.3 and F2.3 was incorrect if the assigned Frame Types were BRB or SCBF, respectively.
VIEW/UPDATE CODE: The View/Update dialog lists the codes specified by the user for the standard code checks and the seismic code checks. In some cases this text did not correctly list the actual selections.
Effect: This was a display error only. Incorrect codes may have been displayed, but the correct codes – those specified by the user – were used in design.
AISC 341 SECTION D1.4 COLUMN CHECK: The requirements of Section D1.4 for IMF and SMF columns were checked using Custom combinations create in Analysis – Load Combination mode (if they existed), in addition to the Combinations specified in the Steel Seismic Provisions mode. Only the combinations specified in the Steel Seismic provisions mode should have been used.
Effect: Checks of IMF and SMF columns may have been governed by combinations create in Analysis – Load Combination mode when only generated or custom combos from either the Standard or Seismic Provisions modules should have been used.
FROZEN AND OPTIMIZED CONTINUOUS FOUNDATIONS: In some cases, when designing a non-frozen continuous foundation after a frozen one, the design engine retained the bars from the frozen foundation and used it in the design of the non-frozen continuous foundation.
Effect: Incorrect (non-optimized) design.
MAXIMUM SPACING*: For Continuous Footings, when checking the ACI 318 requirement for maximum 18” bar spacing the program was checking the clear spacing rather than the center-to-center spacing.
Effect: Reinforcement may have been spaced one bar diameter greater than the maximum of 18” allowed.
SPREAD FOOTING SELF-WEIGHT: Even when the option to “Include Spread Footing Self-Weight when Checking Soil Stress” was not selected, the Load Combinations Forces report included the footing self-weight in the SOIL LOAD COMBINATION FORCES section, under Psw+s.
Effect: Report error only. The design was correct, the self-weight was only included in the calculation of soil stresses when that option was selected.
MINIMUM REINFORCEMENT*: When checking the minimum flexural reinforcement requirements of ACI 318 10.5.4, which refers to 7.12, the program added the top and bottom reinforcement and applied the total area of steel in the foundation to the code requirement. The minimum flexural reinforcement requirement in 10.5.4 should be applied separately to the top and bottom reinforcement.
Effect: Foundations with both top and bottom reinforcement and governed by the minimum reinforcement provision were under designed. Foundations with bottom reinforcement only were designed correctly.
CONTINUOUS FOOTING*: When analyzing a continuous footing with user-defined reinforcement and/or dimensions, the footing may have appeared to pass the design without warning even though inadequate reinforcement or an inadequate concrete section was provided. This could have occurred when the defined concrete section was insufficient to provide a ductile failure mode design.
Effect: Design warnings weren’t given when the design was inadequate.
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.
RAM DataAccess is an API providing a means of extracting model data for use in other programs. These errors did not impact any designs or results of the RAM Structural System, they may have affected any programs written by users that used these functions.
BEAM REACTIONS*: The GetGravityBeamReact method in the IGravityLoads1 interface did not include partition loads.
Effect: RAM DataAccess error only. The gravity beam reactions in RAM Steel Beam were correct.
BEAM FORCES*: Gravity steel beam forces were incorrect in RAM DataAccess if there were negligible uniform or trapezoidal loads.
Effect: Rare DataAccess error only. The negligible load caused the beam forces from prior loads that were processed to be lost.
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 a 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: