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Casa Braga

Located in Ouro Branco, Minas Gerais and built by Gustavo Penna Arquiteto & Associados and Gerdau, the “Sustainable House” is the first residence built using by-products from the mining operation.

The pilot project is part of the environmental education equipment of the Gerdau Germinar Program, which introduces the public to new concepts of sustainability applied to mining activities and the concept of circular economy in housing – one of Gerdau's social investment territories.

The Department of Mining Engineering at the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG) in partnership with Gerdau has developed a solution for the production of blocks, drainage floors and mortar with iron ore tailings, a solution that can transform mining waste management in the future.

For the development of this technology and execution of the work of the House, about 30 people focused on the solution of this challenge that combines sustainability, education and quality housing. The 45 m² house followed the prerequisites of the Federal Minha Casa Minha Vida program, and was designed by architect Gustavo Penna, who sought the ideal combination between design and the best use of natural resources. The House has ecologically correct systems that are already accessible to the market, such as solar heating, energy generation, biodigesters, composting tanks and rainwater harvesting.

“Our SUSTAINABLE HOUSE is made of matter and spirit.  The raw material, the unused by-products of the mining activity, is the main component: from it we take advantage of its qualities and properties. Finding an ecologically appropriate use for these wastes determines the unique character of the housing unit. In its spirit, the housing unit intends, in addition to its technical function, to be a home, a place for each person to feel valued, welcomed in their dreams, hopes and desire to live together. Each house, even in its simplicity, must be able to create a sense of pride and self-esteem”, adds Gustavo Penna.

Researchers and students will be able to visit the Sustainable House in the Gerdau Germinar Biocenter. The space works as an environmental education tool and its main objective is to show in practice the relevance of mining to the contemporary world and the various technologies that can be adopted in our homes, in order to make them more sustainable.


Gustavo Penna, Norberto Bambozzi, Laura Penna, Letícia Carneiro, Oded Stahl, Alice Flores, Fernanda Tolentino, Henrique Neves, Raquel de Resende, Eduardo Magalhães, Julia Lins, Bárbara Novais, Ada Penna, Larissa Freire. Interns: Lucas Moreira, Sávio de Oliveira, Gustavo Monteiro.

Management and Planning

Rísia Botrel, Isabela Tolentino e Taimara Araújo



Diana Penna and Tamiris Bibbó


Germinar Project / Ouro Branco / Minas Gerais

Technical Data
Year of the project: 2017
Year of completion of the work: 2019

Built area: 45m²


Jomar Bragança

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