kathy zarsky

Kathy Zarsky

Kathy Zarsky Biomimicry Specialist, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP BD+C

Kathy is the founder and managing director of HOLOS. As a long time practitioner and advocate of system change, Kathy’s real call to action epiphany occurred when she heard Herbert Dreiseitl speak at USGBC’s first Greenbuild Conference held in Austin. He demonstrated how easily and beautifully ecosystem services can be celebrated and integrated into projects, a key motivator to Kathy to this day. Kathy has been a convener and connector within the sustainability community for many years, dreaming of the day when demand for green development practices would allow her to set more of her own ideas and influences into motion. HOLOS is the realization of those dreams.

Kathy graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in architecture in 1994 and went on to spend 14 years providing construction management and integrated design/build services within the commercial building sector. Her experience working with sophisticated and progressive organizations prepared her well for her departure into the consulting world at the beginning of 2008. As a former project manager, business development director and LEED advisor, she quickly discovered that she possessed all the requisite experience of a new business owner focused on sustainability.

Due to her background in architecture and building science, she is highly skilled at evaluating a broad spectrum of issues and has developed a keen ability to bridge knowledge gaps and networks. The latter concept serves as the primary driver behind the creation of HOLOS Collaborative, a collective intelligence network that adds dimension and resources to the growing service needs of the sustainability marketplace. Kathy has also worked with some of the best sustainability advisors to be found, and due to their influence and generosity, she is compelled to create a business model that continues to pay it forward.

Kathy has conceptual BIM modeling experience tied to both cost and schedule information. She continues to follow not only digital technology progression but also social media and its influence on green building. She is also committed to staying on the forefront of sustainability by working within the larger framework of biomimicry and immersing herself in intensive study- a measure necessitated by “we are our ecosystem”. Kathy has extensive facilitation experience, is a vegetated roof owner and researcher, has experience managing multiple LEED rating systems, and working as a sustainability strategist for municipalities, non-profit and private sector clients.


B.S. in Architecture, The University of Texas at Austin, 1994
Assoc. Degree in Philosophy, University of Oslo, Norway, 1991

Registrations & Affiliations

2010-2012 Chair, USGBC National Chapter Steering Committee (CSC)
Living Building Ambassador, International Living Building Institute
2009 Biomimicry and Design Workshop, The Biomimicry Institute & La Universidad Iberoamericana
2009 Green Roof Advisory Board, City of Austin
LEED Accredited Professional, US Green Building Council
2009-2010 Regional Board Member, South Central Regional Council (SCRC), USGBC
2008 Energy Efficiency Retrofit Task Force, City of Austin
2007 Chair & Founding Member, USGBC Central Texas-Balcones Chapter
Founder, USGBC-CTB Chapter START Committee (Sustainable Technology Applications Resource Team)
Advisory Board, UT Austin School of Architecture
Advisory Board, Texas State Technology Department, Construction Program
Urban Re:Vision, Facilitator
American Institute of Architects
International Society of Industrial Ecology

Current and Past Projects

The Vision, TX, 2010-
City of Austin African American Heritage Center & Facility, Austin, TX, 2010-
Hensel Phelps Southwest District Office, Austin, TX, 2010
Corporate Headquarters Campus, TX, 2009-
ZACH Theatre Center, Austin, TX, 2009-
Pearl Brewery, Garage-CIA Building, San Antonio, TX, 2008-
Pearl Brewery, Culinary Institute of America, San Antonio, TX, 2008-
Beaumont Downtown Redevelopment, Beaumont, TX, 2008
Dittmar Gym Enclosure, Austin, TX, 2008-
Re:Vision Dallas International Competition, Dallas, TX, 2008-2009
City of Austin Dittmar Gym Enclosure, Austin, TX 2008-
Vegetated Roof, Austin, TX 2002-
Ronald McDonald House Charities of Austin and Central Texas, Austin, TX, 2005-2007
Shangri La Botanical Gardens & Nature Center, Orange, TX 2004-2007