Homes set in earth berms are more energy efficient, require less outside maintenance, are sheltered from high winds and blend with the natural landscape. The degree to which a home enjoys these benefits depends on how much of the home is surrounded by the earth berm.
Earth-bermed homes are insulated by the soil around them. The soil maintains a constant temperature equivalent to the average temperature of the environment. The effects of extreme environmental temperatures are negated by the temperature of the soil. These homes are easier to cool in the summer and heat in the winter, and they often cost less to insure because they enjoy natural protection from hail, tornadoes and high winds.
Surrounded on one or more sides by mounds of earth, earth-bermed homes have little visual impact on the natural environment. Many earth-bermed homes are surrounded by berms on three sides, leaving the southern exposure open for windows and doorways to allow light into the home. Some earth-bermed homes cover the roof with earth.
Painting and other upkeep to the exterior of these homes is limited to surfaces not covered by the earth, with many landscaping options available to further blend the home into its environment.