Further Building Considerations

Understand the additional legal and environmental issues which may need to be considered when building or renovating property in Brazil...

When beginning a project, many other factors should also be checked. Most of the topics listed below are included within the Ficha Técnica (Technical Index), a document issued by the SEHAB (City Housing Secretary) that may have been requested when gathering the building documentation.

Public improvement plan (Plano de Melhoramento Público)

If the site is either partially or completely under a government plan for the enlargement of a road or construction of a public building, the project should follow the requirements (for example, take into account front yard setbacks) for these future improvement plans.

Environmentally protected area (APA - Área de Proteção Ambiental)

If the site is inside an environmentally protected area, any change that will reduce or remove existing trees has to be approved by the Depave (Department of Parks and Green Areas).

Landmarked sites (Bem tombado ou preservado)

If the property is an official landmark, the project must be approved by the City (Conpresp) and/or State (Condephat) councils responsible. The Town Hall will need to see approval documents issued by these organizations. This will also be the case for property or construction projects within a 300m radius of a landmarked site (Raio de 300m de um bem tombado).

Property classified as Z8 - 200 (Imóvel classificado como Z8-200)

If the property is classified by the zoning board as historically important or with an exceptional artistic, cultural or landscape value which should be preserved, the construction must be approved by the Planning Secretary (Sempla – Secretaria Municipal de Planejamento). The list of properties under this classification can be found within these laws: Lei 8328/75 and Decretos 19835/84 and 30.027/91.

Airport approach zone (Cone de aproximação de aeroporto)

Due to the air traffic in the Congonhas and Campo de Marte airports, buildings must comply with specific height limits. To build higher than the regulation, the project has to be approved by the Brazilian Air Command (4º Comar – Comando Aéreo).

Use zones (Zonas de Uso) and Special Use corridors (Corredores de Uso Especial)

Properties within Z1, Z9, Z14, Z15, Z16, Z17 and Z18 Use Zones (Zonas de Uso) and Special Use corridors Z8-CR1, Z8-CR5 and Z8-CR (Corredores de Uso Especial) may be required to follow older requirements (according to the law: Lei 9846/85). In these cases, it is necessary to check in the old exchange of contracts of the subdivision if there are more restrictive requirements compared to the current legislation of land use.

Special traffic area (Área especial de tráfego - AET)

This refers to areas of the city which contain high volumes of traffic. The developments must follow special requirements, stated by the law Lei 10.334/87. Whenever the project plans more than 80 parking units, it is necessary to obtain the Guideline Certificate (Certidão de Diretrizes) from the City Transport Secretary (Secretaria Municipal dos Transportes - SMT). The developer may be required to finance any construction and service alterations (such as an increase in road width) deemed necessary by the nature of the construction in a special traffic area.

Water-spring protection area (Área de proteção aos mananciais - APM)

If the property is inside a water-spring protection area, the project must follow the specific state laws and be approved by the Metropolitan Land Use Department (Departamento de Uso do Solo Metropolitano - DUSM) from the Environment State Secretary (Secretaria Estadual do Meio Ambiente).

Urban Operations Perimeter (Perímetro de Operação Urbana)

Some specific areas of the city are favored by laws that grant considerable flexibility for zoning limitations through payments of financial counterparts. That money is paid to the City and can only be used on urban improvements in the same region.

  • Further information on urban operations
  • Note: In addition to this information, before beginning a project, it is recommended to read the Building Code (Código de Obras e Edificações): Click here (RTF file in Portuguese, note that the page loads slowly)
Information prepared by Guilherme Leme and Jacqueline Pezzillo, Davis Brody Bond Aedas Rua Tenente Negrão 90, 8° andar, 04530 -030 São Paulo Tel: (11) 3074 6668 - Fax: (11) 3074 6670 e-mail / Website Copyright © 2009 Davis Brody Bond Aedas All Rights Reserved