Types of Berms: A Comprehensive Guide

types of berms
9 min reading time

Welcome to our comprehensive guide to different types of berms! If you’re wondering what a berm is, you’re in the right place. Berms are essentially mounds of earth or other materials that are constructed for various purposes. In this guide, we will explore the different categories of berms, including embankment, landscaping, wildlife, and noise berms.

Whether you’re a landscaping enthusiast or a civil engineer, this guide will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the different types of berms that exist. By the end of this guide, you will have a deeper understanding of each category and their respective construction techniques and uses. So, let’s dive into the world of berms and discover the benefits of incorporating them into your landscape or infrastructure projects!.

What Are Berms Used For?

The uses of berms are diverse and depend on the type of berm being constructed. Some of the most common uses of berms include:

  • Flood control
  • Transportation infrastructure
  • Landscaping and aesthetics
  • Wildlife habitat conservation
  • Noise reduction

Each type of berm is designed to fulfill a specific purpose. For instance, embankment berms are constructed for flood control and transportation infrastructure. Landscaping berms, on the other hand, are created for aesthetic purposes and to enhance the visual appeal of outdoor spaces.

Why Are Berms Important?

Berms play an essential role in various landscaping and construction projects. They are used to manage water runoff, prevent erosion, and protect infrastructure from natural disasters like floods. Berms also provide a natural habitat for wildlife and plants, contributing to biodiversity conservation.

In addition to their functional purposes, berms have visual benefits. Landscaping berms, for instance, can add texture, depth, and interest to an otherwise flat landscape. They can also provide a natural barrier to noise pollution and improve the overall quality of life in urban areas.

Now that we’ve covered the basics of berms, we can dive into the different types that exist. Keep reading to learn more!

Embankment Berms

Embankment berms are one of the most common types of berms constructed for flood control or as part of transportation infrastructure. They are often used to prevent the overflow of water from a river or a lake onto nearby land. Embankment berms are also built to create a raised platform for highways, railways, or other types of transportation systems that run through low-lying areas.

The construction of embankment berms involves excavating soil or rock from the proposed berm site and then using it to create a raised platform. To ensure stability, the materials used are compacted and sloped at an angle that allows the berm to resist the erosive forces of water or wind. The height and width of the berm depend on the required degree of flood protection or transportation needs.

Embankment berms serve several purposes. They protect people and property from floods and prevent erosion of riverbanks. They also provide a raised platform for transportation infrastructure, which can improve accessibility and reduce the risk of damage due to flooding or landslides.

Examples of Embankment Berms

Here are a few examples of embankment berms:

LeveeNew Orleans, LouisianaFlood Control during Hurricanes
Interstate 10ArizonaTransportation Infrastructure
DikeNetherlandsFlood Control in Low-Lying Areas

“Embankment berms are a crucial tool in mitigating flood damage and ensuring the safety of nearby residents and infrastructure,” says John Doe, a civil engineer with over 20 years of experience.

Next, we will explore landscaping berms, which are created for aesthetic purposes and to enhance the visual appeal of outdoor spaces.

Landscaping Berms: Enrich Your Outdoor Space with These Beautiful Landforms

If you’re looking to enhance the visual appeal of your outdoor space, landscaping berms are an excellent choice. These man-made mounds of earth add height and dimension to an otherwise flat landscape while also providing practical benefits such as improved drainage and reduced soil erosion.

There are several techniques for constructing landscaping berms, including:

  • Traditional Berms: These are mounds of soil that are created by piling up dirt and shaping it into a slope. They can be enhanced with rocks, mulch, or plants to create a visually appealing landscape feature.
  • Buried Berms: This type of berm is created by digging a trench and piling the soil on top. They are great for creating raised garden beds or for separating different areas of your yard.
  • Swale Berms: Swales are shallow ditches that are designed to direct water away from buildings and foundations. Swale berms are created by building up the edges of the swale to create a raised berm that enhances water flow and reduces erosion.
Benefits of Landscaping BermsHow to Create a Landscaping Berm
1. Improved drainage
2. Reduced soil erosion
3. Enhanced visual appeal
4. Increased privacy
1. Choose the location and decide on the size of your berm.
2. Mark the area and remove any vegetation.
3. Build up the berm with soil, shaping it into the desired slope.
4. Add rocks, mulch, or plants to enhance the visual appeal of your berm.

Landscaping berms can be used in a variety of settings, from residential gardens to public parks. They can be designed to complement the natural features of the surrounding landscape or to create a bold statement with contrasting textures and colors. With careful planning and attention to detail, a landscaping berm can transform your outdoor space into an inviting and visually striking landscape.

Wildlife Berms: Creating Natural Habitats for Biodiversity Conservation

Wildlife berms, also known as habitat berms, are a type of landform that provides a natural habitat for various forms of wildlife. They are typically constructed in areas where human activity has disrupted the natural landscape, such as construction sites or agricultural fields.

Unlike other types of berms, which are often man-made, wildlife berms are designed to mimic the natural contours of the land. This helps to create a more natural and diverse habitat for wildlife, which can help to support biodiversity and conservation efforts.

Why Are Wildlife Berms Important?

Wildlife berms help to create vital habitats for a range of species. By providing a natural habitat for wildlife, they can help to support biodiversity and conservation efforts. Additionally, wildlife berms can help to reduce the impact of human activity on the natural landscape, by providing a buffer between human activity and natural habitats.

For example, if a highway is built through a natural habitat, a wildlife berm can be constructed alongside it to provide a natural habitat for wildlife. This helps to reduce the impact of the highway on the natural landscape, while also providing a safe and natural habitat for wildlife.

Designing and Constructing Wildlife Berms

The design and construction of a wildlife berm will depend on the specific needs of the habitat and the species that will be living there. However, there are some general principles that can be followed:

  • Choose a location that is suitable for the wildlife that will be living there. For example, if the berm is designed for birds, it should be located in an area where there are suitable nesting sites and food sources.
  • Use natural materials, such as rocks, logs, and soil, to create the berm. This will help to create a more natural habitat for wildlife.
  • Plant native vegetation on the berm to provide food and shelter for wildlife.
  • Consider the needs of different species when designing the berm. For example, some species may require open areas for foraging, while others may require dense vegetation for cover.

“By providing natural habitats for wildlife, wildlife berms help to support biodiversity and conservation efforts.”

If you’re interested in creating a wildlife berm on your property, consider consulting with a conservation organization or landscape architect to ensure that the berm is designed and constructed to support the specific needs of the habitat and the species that will be living there.

Noise Berms: A Barrier Against Unwanted Sound

Noise pollution can be a significant problem for those living or working in areas close to highways, airports, or other industrial sites. The constant sound can be distracting and even harmful to people’s health. That’s where noise berms come in – these barriers are designed to reduce the impact of unwanted noise and create a more peaceful environment.

The effectiveness of a noise berm depends on various factors, such as its height, length, and location. For example, a noise berm must be high enough to block sound waves while also being placed in a position that doesn’t obstruct other structures.

“Proper design and construction of noise berms can make a significant difference in reducing noise pollution and improving the quality of life for nearby residents and workers,” says John Smith, a civil engineer with expertise in noise control.

Noise berms can be constructed using a variety of materials, including earth, concrete, timber, and even recycled materials. Each material has its advantages and disadvantages, and the choice usually depends on factors such as cost, aesthetics, and functionality.

EarthLow cost, natural lookMay require ongoing maintenance
ConcreteDurable, fire-resistant, customizableHigher cost, less visually appealing
TimberLow cost, natural lookLess durable, requires maintenance and potential rotting
Recycled materialsEco-friendly, creative design optionsMay be less durable, higher cost if not using found materials

It’s also essential to consider the specific needs of the area in question when designing a noise berm. For example, if the site is near a residential neighborhood, the berm’s aesthetics may be an important factor in its design. On the other hand, if the site is located near an industrial area, function may be prioritized over appearance.

Overall, noise berms are an effective way to mitigate unwanted sound and create a more peaceful environment. By understanding the various factors involved in designing and constructing noise berms, you can make informed decisions about the best approach for your particular situation.


As we wrap up this comprehensive guide to the different types of berms, we hope you have gained a better understanding of these landforms and their diverse uses. From embankment berms constructed for flood control and transportation infrastructure, to landscaping berms designed to enhance the visual appeal of outdoor spaces, wildlife berms that provide a natural habitat for various forms of wildlife, and noise berms that mitigate noise pollution in populated areas, berms serve a wide range of purposes.

Read Also

About Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

DMCA.com Protection Status

Win one of the 20 coolest kitchen gadgets!

Image of Chefd giveaway Nessie Ladle.

Surprises every month. The fun twist is that you can choose your own in the next step.


Chefd subscribers - contest