As the green building industry continues to expand, builders and architects are only getting more creative with sustainable home designs. We’re particularly inspired by the concept of re-purposing structures such as silos and shipping containers into beautiful and efficient eco-friendly homes. These designs take upcycling to the next level.

Round metal grain bins, also known as silos, are becoming obsolete. Instead of letting these durable structures sit empty or be torn down for scrap metal, builders and architects are giving them new life. The design possibilities are endless with these versatile bins that can be used individually or grouped and arranged in a variety of ways to create a comfortable and aesthetically pleasing home. The naturally rounded shapes lend themselves wonderfully to sleek, ultra-modern designs.

The tiny home revolution has shed light on the fantastic potential of cargo containers in home design. The evolution of shipping container home plans has led to a host of imaginative and luxurious designs. These modular homes are especially ideal for those looking to achieve an industrial-chic or high tech-chic inspired design.

The rise of silo and shipping container homes can be attributed to their functionality, versatility and – of course – their sustainability. Metal grain bins and shipping containers do not require maintenance and can be designed with insulation, energy-efficient windows, and even solar panels and small wind turbines to reduce carbon footprints while increasing efficiency. The money saved on building materials can additionally be pumped into interior designs and luxury amenities and features. Any limitations that may come with these structures can be turned into opportunities for innovative design solutions.

As proponents of reclaimed materials and sustainable building and design, we also love the idea of converting structures such as silos and shipping containers into sheds, backyard retreats, garden houses, and stand-alone home offices.

Whether you want to revamp your home to make it more efficient or you are looking to build a new home for more sustainable and eco-friendly living, we’d love to help you design the custom home of your dreams. Contact TMS Architects to learn more about our architecture and design services.


  • These are some interesting ideas on how to build more Eco friendly homes. I bet you would need a very skilled custom home builder to transform an old grain silo into a livable home. There are a lot of codes when it comes to residential living spaces. You want to make sure that if you do go this route that it will pass state/county/city inspections. Thanks for the interesting post.

  • Cal Driver says:

    Thanks so much for this! Modular homes are fantastic. My family used to own a ranch up in the Rockies, and we were constantly wondering what to do with the run-down silos and sheds up there. I wish this trend had existed 20 years ago. Thanks for sharing!

  • Judy Wilson says:

    I liked your comment about how the shipping container home trend has led to some really imaginative and luxurious designs for sustainable homes. That seems like a good way to describe some of the tiny homes I’ve seen that were made from shipping containers. I’m always surprised to see the unique designs and amenities that people come up with. It’s always exciting to see what kind of styles people come up with. Thanks for posting this!

  • Lisa manuel says:

    They are some interesting ideas how to build more Environment friendly homes. I gamble you would desire a very skilled custom home constructor to transform an old grain silo into a livable home. There are a lot of rules when considering to residential living spaces. You want to make certain that if you do go this route that it will pass state/county/city inspections. Thanks for the interesting post.

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