It is with great pleasure that I unveil our newly-poured piers. Foundation, I dub thee Nerdhenge.
Since the piers will be extremely visible, we paid extra to add some pigment to the concrete mix. The color was called "Onyx," a name apparently chosen by someone who either never saw (A) the actual product or (B) onyx. But we're satisfied — it has an attractive bluish cast compared to unadorned concrete, and it will hopefully give our house a certain klassy je ne sais quoi.
The photo above shows the lower three rows of piers, and the photo below shows the view from the top. This picture shows the grade beam, which Ted can explain in a geekier post.
Occupant behavior can make the difference between an efficient house and a wasteful one. Notorious energy hogs include plasma TVs, old refrigerators or freezers, ice-makers, and dehumidifiers. And don't overlook sneaky items like DVRs, always-on computer and entertainment equipment, etc.