Homeowner's Insurance Inspections
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Structures that are built into the hillside or into a natural land formation are not eligible for a policy with and should be marked as a major using the Exterior Siding category - other. An extreme example would be a structure that has a sod/grass roof.
The construction of these homes is often called earth-sheltering , which may take one of several forms: Earth-berming where the earth is piled up against 3 of the exterior walls and packed, sloping down away from the house. In-hill construction - where the house is set into a South-facing slope or hillside so that the North, and part or all of East and West walls, are sheltered. Underground construction where the ground is excavated, and the house is set in below grade. In some cases earth is used to cover the roof of an earth-sheltered structure, but more often this is not done due to the difficulty of keeping moisture from leaking through into the structure below.
The issue with earth-sheltered homes is that they are very difficult to design and implement due to the issues of water seepage, internal condensation, cave-like acoustics, and the lack of construction companies with experience in building residences this way. Please note: the simple existence of a basement underground would not qualify the structure as earth/berm.