Building on sloping ground

How to adapt to a slope ? If solutions still exist, it is necessary to distinguish the different slopes:


Different slopes

Low slope: Up to 10%

The undeveloped land are misleading. We can often have the impression that the ground is flat when there is 5% slope. However, a slope of 5% influences the architecture. By visiting the field, the architect or the topographer takes the points of altimetry which then makes it possible to adapt the construction.


Medium to steep slope: Between 10 and 20%

There too we tend to underestimate the slope when we visit the land. It's the topographic plan with the contour lines which will allow you to position yourself.


Strong comb: From 20%

No error of appreciation possible on this type of terrain. When you walk on it, you have to climb. These lands often offer very nice views.

What solutions for each slope?

The pilings

Put the house on stilts allows it to take off from the ground which has several advantages: It can allow decrease the access ramp(if access is from the top of the lot) by raising the car access (carport or garage or outdoor parking). It also allows reduce disbursements and therefore both better respect the natural terrain while reducing costs related to earthworkset al' land removal if applicable.

Stilts can be a solution for people wanting a house of single storey on a slope. Be careful to keep in mind that the house loses its connection to the garden (most of the time a Terrace extends the house and gives access to the garden via a staircase).

The implementation of stilts involves having a view under the house. Care must therefore be taken to keep this space clean (we often see examples of houses on stilts where a storage room is installed between the stilts, which aesthetically is aberrant).

This solution is suitable for weak to strong slopes.

Embed the house in the slope

This is one of the principles of bioclimatic architecture. On embedding a facade(North if possible) entirely or partly in the slope. The house is so very good integrated (it does not create a significant emergence) and takes advantage of the stable temperature from the land that refreshes summer and warms up Winter.

The buried walls will generally be built in blocks to be shuttered and protected by a sealing and one drain.

This solution adapts to medium slopes

Provide a basement

A level can be completely buried on 1 to 3 sides and topped with the standard of living. In this case, we are talking about the creation of a basement. This adapts to very steep slopes.

Shift the different levels

We create a level (ground floor) in connection with car and pedestrian access (if access is from the top of the land) and below a lower level (ground floor) offset to adapt to the percentage of slope, in connection with the garden. This option keeps a strong link with the garden. On the other hand, it implies having the stay either at the high level with a terrace as an extension(and often to benefit from a very beautiful view), either at the low level in connection with the garden (and one reaches it by internal staircases).

This solution is suitable for medium to steep slopes.

Create half-levels

The half levels are platforms positioned a few decimeters from each other, for example a main level to 0 and the bedroom level at + 80cm or the living room at -1.50m so as to follow the slope of the land. This solution is suitable for low to medium slope terrain.

In all cases, we avoid massively overwhelming the land to create a flat area surrounded by two embankments, a solution that is both unsightly and which greatly degrades the landscape (while often rendering the land unusable).

Examples of houses on sloping land


  • Caillibot

    Est il possible de recevoir quelques photos de maisons implantés sur terrain en pente mais avec accès niveau supérieur jardin svp.
    Merci bien.

  • Victor Evens Pierre

    Vos explications sont geniales

  • Victor Evens Pierre

    Vos explications sont géniales . J’aimerais avoir des annonces de votre nouveaux architecture.

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