Serra da Canastra National Park

Serra da Canastra – Minas Gerais

infrastructure for monitoring fire prevention and firefighting

Created in 1972, the Serra da Canastra National Park preserves the headwaters of the São Francisco River and several other rivers, in addition to housing several vegetation types in the Cerrado, the second largest biome in South America, and considered a global biodiversity hotspot which, however, it is at serious risk of extinction. After the Atlantic Forest, the Cerrado is the most affected and altered Brazilian biome due to human occupation.

The conservation unit (UC) is one of the few areas of integral protection in the biome. At the same time, the park’s territory has a high incidence of fires, constituting a serious threat to the conservation of biodiversity and the maintenance of ecological processes. The fires occur due to several factors, including aspects of human activity in the region. There have been directed studies and efforts on several fronts to reduce these rates.

This project deals with the elaboration of basic and executive projects of architecture and engineering to improve the conditions of infrastructures and implantation of new bases to support the prevention and fight against forest fires in the park.

Located in the southwest of the state of Minas Gerais, north of Rio Grande, the park has approximately 200 thousand hectares. Composed of massifs and valleys, it composes a unique landscape of panoramic views and countless waterfalls.

(1) São Roque de Minas / Parque office; (2) Jaguaré Base; (3) Bentinho Observation Tower; (4) Serra Brava Observation Tower; (5) Ordinance 2 São João Batista; (6) Currais Observation Tower; (7) Ordinance 3 Sacramento.

The interventions include new constructions and interventions related to the brigade bases and observation towers. When carrying out firefighting actions, the place receives up to 60 people at the bases, without presenting an adequate structure to accommodate and meet this demand. The towers, essentials for monitoring fire prevention and fighting, must be in strategic positions. There are six centers that house the interventions, located inside the park close to the main road.

Functional structures were created that refer to vernacular architecture, using local materials and that present environmental and sustainability criteria, in addition to being composed by a modular project, using prefabricated systems, aiming to minimize the impacts of construction within the UC. Modules were designed for the bases of the brigades that allow rapid construction and expansion according to demand.

São João Batista Brigade: (1) Renovation / (2) Toilets / (3) Canteen / (4) Kitchen / (5) Laundry / (6) Storage / (7) Garage
Sacramento Brigade: (1) Garage / (2) Storage / (3) Living / (4) Accommodation / (5) Office / (6) Dining room / (7) Laundry room / (8) Kitchen / (9) Sanitary
1) roof and facade in trapezoidal sandwich tile; 2) metal grid structure; 3) masonry and hollow elements in compact brick soil.

The materials recover features of the scenic beauty of the large rock walls and the reddish earth present in the region,  such as the structures already existing in the park. The choice of materials, construction systems and closings, gave priority to thermal and acoustic performance, in addition to the agility for assembly on the construction site.

1) roofing in trapezoidal sandwich tile; 2) metal grid structure; 3) closing in certified native wood; 4) basements in São Tomé stone.

The specific conditions of the local climate, in particular the relationship between thermal amplitude and humidity and the incidence of solar radiation, led to the adoption of sustainable guidelines in the construction and renovation of buildings. Natural lighting, cross ventilation, solar protection elements and thermally insulated facades are some examples that contribute to the energy efficiency and thermal comfort of buildings. The dry toilet was adopted for isolated implantation projects and in ecologically sensitive areas, whose system does not generate sanitary effluents and does not use water, being an efficient method that transforms waste into organic fertilizer.