For the past two years, I have lived in a grain bin at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage. Or more specifically, a converted grain bin home (pictured to the right). It is insulated with straw bales, has a wood stove for winter heating, and has electricity thanks to a few solar panels. Several years ago, Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage members renovated an old steel grain bin that was on the property into this new straw bale-insulated, solar-powered, two story home. Since then, both floors of the grain bin have served as rental units to Dancing Rabbit members. So what was once an empty, unused structure became a functional house.
Grain bins are a very common sight in rural and agrarian communities, and many are ripe for converting into a living space suitable for humans. Even if you live on land where there are no grain bins, you can probably score a silo for no more than a few hundred bucks. Of course, it will take some work to make it livable, but the potential is great for recycling grain bins into homes.
For some tips and inspiration, Mother Earth News shares some stories on finding and outfitting a grain bin home. Check it out if you are interested in building your own converted grain bin house!