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What Is a Berm?

A berm is one of the oldest constructions that man has developed and used for hundreds of years as a way of containing certain areas. A berm is actually a mound of earth that has been made to fulfill a certain need or requirement. Among the uses for berms are to give privacy to a certain area, to ease the construction of certain structures, strengthening defensive positions, or to change the landscape. The word “berm” has its origins in the Dutch language. It is one of the words that are used to refer to barriers set up in a natural environment.

Creating the basic berm is simple. Merely mounding up soil will create a berm. These basic berms are usually found near trenches or areas that have been excavated. In particular, these kinds of berms’ functions would be to help prevent erosion. This construction is considered a common technique in defense engineering because of the difficulty of traversing a trench and then a berm. Soldiers can also use a berm as defensive cover. This type of berm is also known by another name – earthwork.

Its military importance is significant enough that archeological findings have shown that this has been used by ancient military in many countries in the world. This technique is now also being used in road construction work. Construction crews also use this type of berm as a way of baffling sound in order to lessen the amount of noise when trying to build new roads in heavily populated areas.

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