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Chamber luncheon offers LEED information
Keep Liberty Beautiful
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Keep Liberty Beautiful will be the host of the Liberty County Chamber of Commerce Progress Through People Luncheon on Thursday, Aug. 18. 
We are honored to have Savannah resident Tommy Linstroth as our speaker for the luncheon, which is at noon at the First Baptist Church in Hinesville.
The chamber hosts a monthly Progress Through People luncheon with a variety of topics that are of interest to the growing business community.
“The purpose of the chamber luncheons is two-fold: to offer networking opportunities and also to educate the attendees,” chamber director Leah Poole said.
If you never have attended one of these luncheons, consider doing so. The programs are quite beneficial. “We are so please that Mr. Linstroth has agreed to join us next week,” Poole said. “His extensive background in sustainable growth is sure to be educational and informative.”
Linstroth’s career has spanned the private, academic and nonprofit sectors in the Midwest, West and now the East Coast, where he is the principal of Trident Sustainability Group.
Linstroth is responsible for overseeing all aspects of Trident’s client sustainability solutions — from minimizing organizations’ carbon footprints to managing sustainable development projects.
Linstroth has been involved with more than 30 projects that were LEED certified, with another two dozen under way.
These projects include the first building in the Southeast to be both LEED certified and in the National Register of Historic Places, the first all-retail LEED shopping center in the nation (Abercorn Commons in Savannah), the first LEED McDonald’s restaurant (also in Abercorn Commons) and Sustainable Fellwood, one of the largest green affordable housing developments — part of the LEED for Neighborhood Developments pilot program and LEED for Homes program — in the nation.
Well, the first question you may have is, “What is LEED and what does it matter to me?”
LEED stands for leadership in energy and environmental design. It is an internationally recognized green building certification system, according to the U.S. Green Building Council website,
“Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council in March 2000, LEED provides building owners and operators with a framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions,” according to the website.
“LEED promotes sustainable building and development practices through … rating systems that recognize projects that implement strategies for better environmental and health performance,” according to the website.
The LEED rating systems are developed by committees of “diverse groups of volunteers representing a cross-section of the building and construction industry,” the website states. 
“LEED is flexible enough to apply to all building types — commercial as well as residential,” according to the website. “It works throughout the building lifecycle — design and construction as well as operations and maintenance. LEED for neighborhood development extends the benefits of LEED beyond the building footprint into the neighborhood it serves. 
“Since its inception in 1998, the U.S. Green Building Council has grown to encompass more than 7,000 projects in the United States and 30 countries covering 1.062 billion square feet of development area,” according to Wikipedia.
Green building is significant for all of us, including business owners, industry CEOs and local residents.
Miami’s Office of Sustainable Initiatives offers the following list of green building benefits on its website,

Environmental benefits
• Enhance and protect ecosystems and biodiversity
• Improve air and water quality
• Reduce solid waste
• Conserve natural resources

Economic benefits
• Reduce operating costs
• Enhance asset value and profits
• Improve employee productivity and satisfaction
• Optimize life-cycle economic performance

Health and community benefits
• Improve air, thermal, and acoustic environments
• Enhance occupant comfort and health
• Minimize strain on local infrastructure
• Enhance overall quality of life
“The built environment has a profound impact on our natural environment, economy, health and productivity,” according to the Miami Office of Sustainable Initiatives.
According to the office’s website, in the United States alone, buildings account for:
• 72 percent of electricity consumption
• 39 percent of energy use
• 38 percent of all carbon dioxide emissions
• 40 percent of raw material use
• 30 percent of waste output
• 12 percent of potable water consumption
I hope you can join us Thursday for an interesting and enjoyable program. Call Beth at the chamber office at 368-4445 by Tuesday  to secure your place at the luncheon. 
For more information on green building practices and LEED, go to or

Upcoming KLB activity
• The Recycle It! Fair is from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Aug. 27 at the Liberty County Health Department parking lot. Drop off electronics and other household items for recycling.
For more information, call KLB at 880-4888 or email

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