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WEST GLOCESTER, RI-FM Global, a global commercial property insurer, is expanding its 1,600-acre research campus here. The insurer will add a natural hazards laboratory, an upgraded fire technology laboratory and a new multimedia center for $38 million.

The expansion is set to deliver in 2009. Financing for the additions is undisclosed.

The expansion will be a 70,000-sf natural hazards laboratory–including a 100-sf earthquake motion simulation table on a 13-foot deep, two-million pound foundation; an upgraded fire technology laboratory–including a movable ceiling to test with warehouse heights and 20,000-sf staging area; and a new multi-media center covering 4,500 sf with 130 stadium-style theater seats and a high-definition theater projection system.

“No one envisioned the recent dramatic growth in globalization,” Thomas Lawson, FM Global’s SVP of engineering and research, says in a statement, “and the resulting stress it has had on stretched supply chains around the world. As our clients’ businesses and needs continue to grow, FM Global’s research campus enhancements will enable us to enhance the quality of our research and testing so we can continue to provide the best loss prevention advice to keep clients operational, especially as property-related business losses increase in frequency and severity.”

The Johnston, RI-based insurer uses the facilities here to mimic man-made and natural disasters in order to develop stronger property insurance and solutions to protect businesses against all manner of physical property risk. The additions will bring new capability to study wind, flood and earthquakes, as well as, a fire-testing facility. The movable ceiling will enable a variety of environments to be tested for fires, including warehouse-sized areas. FM Global did not return GlobeSt.com queries by deadline.

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