Earth berming is the practice of building a wall of earth around the outside of the home. The berm is about three or four feet tall and covers all but the south side. In these economically challenging times more people are searching for home designs that are stylish, affordable and remain energy efficient. Earth Berming, or . Earth berming. Martin Elkjar; 5 videos; 32 views; Last updated on Mar 3, Play all. Share. Loading Save.

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You will eventually get cold with the constant breeze, but if you wrap a towel around your shoulders — as earth sheltering wraps the planet’s “towel” around your home — you can enjoy the sun and the view while staying warm.

If the vents or ducts are held rigidly in place during this deflection, the result is usually the failure of the waterproofing layer. Overall, the construction is comparable to conventional construction, because the building requires bermjng finishing and significantly less maintenance. Earth house architecture brings to mind habitable sculptures, incorporating artistic claim and sculptural quality. Clay soils, while least susceptible to erosion, often do not allow for proper drainage, and have a higher potential for frost heaves.

Earth sheltering is the architectural practice of using earth against building walls for external thermal massto reduce heat loss, and to easily maintain a steady indoor air temperature.

A nearly horizontal or landward-sloping portion of a beach, formed by the deposition of sediment by storm waves.

Also, as the earth covers most or the entire exterior of the building, berm homes require a lot less exterior maintenance than more conventional houses. The important part of earth sheltering or earth berming is that you employ a professional who knows how to do it properly. This page was last edited on 3 Decemberat This article includes a list of referencesbut its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations.

Because of the limited window arrangement in most earth shelters, and the resistance to air infiltration, the air within a structure can become stagnant if proper ventilation is not provided. A raised bank or path, especially the bank of a canal opposite verming towpath. The walls are bermin installed.


The building materials for earth-sheltered construction tend to be of non-biodegradable substances.

One of the oldest examples of berming, dating back some 5, years, can be found at Skara Brae in the Orkney Islands off northern Scotland. Also, during the summer months, providing an overhang, or some sort of shading device, is used to block out an excess solar gain.

It is strong and readily available. Switch to new thesaurus. One of the main ecological benefits of earth-house architecture lies in its natural insulation. Earth Berming This technique is used both for passive cooling as well as heating of buildings, a feat which is made possible by the earth acting as a massive heat sink.

Earth sheltering is a more extreme version of earth berming, where the north side and perhaps the east and west sides of the house is buried more extensively, often right up to the roof. The earth house is a flexible construction which can be built according to the wishes of its owners, fulfilling the requirements for individuality and energy conservation.

One or more layers of insulation board or foam are added on the outside of the waterproofing. Roof covering is done using excavation material which allows for planting useful plants. The materials slope downward, like an umbrella.

What are Earth Berming and Earth Sheltering? | Solar

The growth of small vegetation, especially those with deep roots, also helps in the prevention of erosion, on the house and in the surrounding site.

Waterproofing applied to the building is essential.

This is why there are few remaining example like Hvalsey Church in Greenland where only the stacked stones remain. Once the site is prepared and the utility lines installed, a foundation of reinforced concrete is poured. In earth-sheltered construction, there is often extensive excavation done on eargh building site.

Bemring sprayed concrete procedure was first used by natural scientist Carl Akeley in In a relatively short period of time the earth layers grow together leaving the structure with an appearance of a hill with a door.

This form involves the excavation of a site and generally means that the opening to the building will be on one side. In the summer, it is helpful to take advantage of the prevailing winds. Bituthene registered name is very similar to the three coat layering process only in one step. The expression earth-sheltering is a generic term, bdrming the general meaning: Cave house in Louresse-Rochemenier France.


The earth is packed down and slopes away from the building. The foundation of the buildings bermong by Peter Vetsch are built conventionally. The main challenges with these are they must be carefully applied, making sure that every area is covered to the right thickness, and that every crack or gap is tightly sealed. These slopes may be inherently stable when left alone, but cutting into them can greatly compromise their structural stability. Unlike the conventional building, earth shelters require the insulation on the exterior of the building rather than inside the wall.

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Given the natural human dislike of living underground, this often strikes people as a “caveman” approach to efficient living but, in reality, it is an efficient means of conserving potentially enormous amounts of energy.

Earth Berm houses are also less susceptible to the extreme outdoor weather conditions. How we built our own earthship: Earth houses can be built as single residential houses eargh housing estates.

Earth house

With modification, the idea of earth tubes can be used for underground buildings: There is a greater use of stone work in earth shelter structures in areas where timber is scarce.

EPDM is very heavy to work with and can be chewed through by some common insects like fire ants. One historical example of in-hill earth shelters would be Mesa Verdein the southwest United States. Earth Berming, or Earth Sheltering as it is also known, is possibly the oldest and yet one of the lesser-known methods of building. Rough stone was often stacked along the outer walls with a simple lime mortar for structural support and often serves as an exterior facing wall and foundation.