Mark Giorgetti

Mark Giorgetti

Principal & Founder

Palo Santo Designs

Sante Fe, NM USA

Get comfortable with’s hard for me to imagine succeeding and being comfortable the whole time.


By Roadtrip Nation

Mark Giorgetti

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My road in life took a while to figure out.
Born and raised in Connecticut.
Didn’t grow up in a family of builders or with any connection to the construction industry—admits that it wasn’t until his early twenties when he first picked up a powertool to build anything.
Attended the University of New Hampshire, where he received his degree in environmental science.
In the early 1990s, while still in college, he started working for a small company installing solar panels, before they had gained popularity, on homes.
Says he was inspired after reading a series of books about homes being built in Taos, New Mexico that were completely sustainable and made out of renewable materials.
Decided to take a roadtrip across the country to visit and learn more about sustainable ways of building—he began taking a variety of jobs to learn different construction skills and trades.
Earned his contractors license and, with no funding, he started Paolo Santo Designs, an award winning, green, design-build construction firm located in New Mexico.
He has also been a consultant for the United Nations’ UN-HABITAT project and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Santa Fe Area Home Builders' Association (SFAHBA).
Keep following my journey


High School
Environmental Science
University of New Hampshire-Main Campus
Environmental Studies
University of Edinburgh
Environmental Engineering Technology/Environmental Technology


Principal & Founder

I design and build sustainable homes.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Building Things

Day to Day

I meet with clients or vendors to reach important milestones in design/selections or construction. Gain approval to proceed to the next level. There are many layers to the design and build process and the best part of my job is that I get to work on all of those levels. Since I am a general contractor, I don't specialize in any one area. Instead, I assist in helping to manifest all of our projects from conception to execution to completion.

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

Emotional intelligence is valuable in any career. There are so many different things to study within the realm of construction. Having a wide knowledge of those elements is valuable, but it is also a good idea to pick an area you are particularly interested and learn as much as you can in that area. Get experience in the field. This will give you the confidence and knowledge to deal with the different aspects of the job. Break out of your comfort zone.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for high school students

Learn the trade by working in the field. Schooling is great in so many ways, but in a trades career, practical experience is everything. You need to build "street cred" that proves you know how this industry works and that you are capable of solving the problems that come with this work.

Recommended Education

My career is not related to what I studied. I'd recommend this path instead:

Engineering, General


The Noise I Shed

From Myself:

"There are no guarantees."

Challenges I Overcame

Work Stress
First-Generation College Student