Experts in Our Field

Mark Cunningham graduated from Queens University Belfast in June 1999 with a first class degree in Civil Engineering before then going onto graduate from Trinity College Dublin with a Masters Degree with distinction in Civil/Structural & Geotechnical Engineering in 2001.

Upon graduating from Trinity College, Mark set up his own practice which has evolved over the years - continuously developing our range of services and growing our expert team to meet the needs of our client base.

The practice obtained Chartered Status in 2014 when Mark qualified as a Chartered Engineer and Assigned Certifier and became a Chartered Member of the Institute of Engineers of Ireland.

Our Services


Diligent preparation, investigation, research - planning towards successful project delivery


Leveraging the most up to date data and technologies to ensure you realise your project's full potential


Management, oversight and attention to detail - the key components of successful project delivery


Meeting standards is an absolute, a given and underpins everything we do at Cunningham Design & Planning


Planning Applications

As part of the service that we provide in relation to the preparation of planning permission applications we meet with all potential clients on-site at a time that is convenient to them, these times can also include evenings and weekends if necessary. We then offer our best advice on the client’s potential project free of charge and based on this advice the client then decides whether or not to proceed with a planning permission application.

From there on we then prepare the planning permission application and lodge the application to the relevant offices of the Local Authority. During the planning process we deal with any planning queries or further information requests that the Local Authority may or may not have as quickly as possible, so as to ensure that a decision can be reached by the relevant Local Authority within a minimum time frame so as not to delay the client. We can also prepare appeals to An Bord Pleanala if necessary and also responses to appeals made by third parties.

Planning Searches / Certificate of Compliance

We at Cunningham Design & Planning have extensive knowledge when it comes to the conveyancing of property sales where we can act on both behalf of the purchaser or the vendor depending on the situation. This service includes any planning searches that may be required in order to determine if the property being sold is in compliance with the relevant planning permission and also to determine if there are any extensions or alterations made to the property which would be considered an exempt development under the relevant planning acts.

From there we can then advice the client on the planning status of the property and can issue a formal certificate of compliance in relation to same or advice the client that a planning permission application is required in relation to the retention of any part or all of the property in question that may have been carried out without the benefit of planning permission.

Topographical Site Survey's & Map Marking

We offer full topographical surveys of any potential site, which will include a detailed Autocad contour survey to show the extent of the site boundaries and also any other buildings that are in existence, including boundary surveys of the property being sold so that the Title Maps match the boundaries exactly as they are constructed on the ground.

In order to avoid any confusion and to help speed up the conveyancing process we can meet with both the purchaser and vendor onsite to survey the property being sold be it a site, a building or a piece of land, whereby the exact boundaries are agreed between all parties on site and the measurements then transferred onto the Title Map which will then form part of the contract documents.

Trial Hole & Percolation Tests

We are fully registered to carry out trial-hole and percolation tests in accordance with the latest edition of the E.P.A. Manual for Single Dwelling Houses and Multiple Developments.

Because of our FETAC training we are on the approved panel of site suitability assessors on all Local Authorities and therefore are fully qualified to carry out trial-hole and percolation tests for any type of development in any Local Authority. The Site Suitability Report then forms part of the planning permission documentation submitted to the Local Authority at planning permission application stage.

Structural Surveys

Our thorough structural survey service details the structural integrity of a building, providing a detailed breakdown of any problems that may exist or that could arise in the future. In addition we can also suggest improvements/alterations which would benefit the property as part of our formal report.

Topographical Site Survey's And Map Marking

We offer full topographical surveys of any potential site, which will include a detailed Autocad contour survey to show the extent of the site boundaries and also any other buildings that are in existence, including boundary surveys of the property being sold so that the Title Maps match the boundaries exactly as they are constructed on the ground.
In order to avoid any confusion and to help speed up the conveyancing process we can meet with both the purchaser and vendor onsite to survey the property being sold be it a site, a building or a piece of land, whereby the exact boundaries are agreed between all parties on site and the measurements then transferred onto the Title Map which will then form part of the contract documents.


Foundation Design

We have vast experience in geotechnical consultancy, priding ourselves in delivering a confidential, fast and professional service to our customers.

We offer geotechnical design and consultancy services for specialist foundations including piling, ground movement analysis from piling and deep basement construction, ground improvement, differential settlement, slope stability and embedded retaining walls. Especially relevant to this, is our use of bespoke and state-of-the-art commercial computer software.

As well as the consultancy services we offer to contractors, we offer the same quality service to professional teams. We assess ground movement associated with basement construction and piling for party wall. Importantly, we can advise on the best solution for your project before going to the market. This has the benefit of making the assessment of returned tenders simpler and less prone to error ensuring you get the best value. Importantly, if things go wrong on your project you can call us to help you resolve the problems quickly and efficiently. Finally, if a dispute arises on your site then we can use our skills in forensic engineering to resolve the problem quickly and efficiently.

3D Visual Designs

Our experience and expertise, ensures we understand clients concepts and translate them into accurate, pleasing and photo-realistic images. We specialise in digital 3D services that include Architectural Visualisation, BIM Modelling and Consultancy, Virtual Reality & 360 Tours, 3D Product Design and 3D Graphics. Our work enhances design processes and decisions, helps secure planning permission. We work closely with all clients, in both a technical and design capacity, throughout all stages of their project.

Civil Engineering

At Cunningham Design & Planning we provide professional services focused on providing efficient designs from concept to completion while always striving to exceed client expectations.
Our Civil Engineering Team use the most up-to-date software packages to provide our clients with the most cost-effective solution available.
Our experienced team carry out a wide range of projects for residential, commercial, industrial and municipal developments including:

• Water & drainage network design.
• Storage/attenuation design/SuDs.
• Flood studies.
• Culvert & flood design.
• Road design and associated infrastructural works.

Structural Engineering

Our experienced Structural Design Team, use the very latest design software to help provide our clients with a full range of Structural Design services in all modern construction materials.

For every project, we regard ourselves as a fully integral member of our client's team dedicated to achieving our client's goals. Mark personally meets with all clients, no matter how big or small their job to provide his experience and expertise.

Our experience covers various sectors such as:

• Office buildings
• Industrial developments
• Educational institutions
• Residential developments
• Retail and commercial projects.
• Leisure facilities.
• Mixed use developments.

Energy Efficiency Design

Our Low Energy Design Specification concentrates on gearing the clients dwelling house towards the highest standards of energy efficiency.

Nowadays, with the correct advice before construction, it is possible to save over 50% on your energy needs per year potentially saving you tens of thousands of euro over the lifetime of your mortgage. A good Building Energy Rating also adds considerable value to a property.

Our Low Energy Design Specification provides:

• A step by step guide on how the clients dwelling house can achieve its optimum energy rating.
• Recommendations for building materials, insulation, windows & doors, ventilation, heating systems and controls.
• A suitability study of renewable technologies and their effect on the Building Energy Rating (BER) of the clients dwelling house including solar panels, heat pumps, heat recovery ventilation, wind turbines etc.
• Estimated running costs of your Development before and after the improvements are made

We can tailor this report after studying your project from the drawings to achieve the highest possible Building Energy Rating for the clients dwelling house keeping in mind your own specific preferences.


Project Management & Supervision

In addition to planning permission applications, we also provide a supervision service from start to completion - weather it is a large or small development to meet bank/financial institution requirements, in order for the client to draw down their mortgages and eventually sign off the development.

Ensuring compliance with both the Building and Planning Regulations, provides surety for all parties to the property being sold or provision of the final stage payment certificate to be drawn down. This service includes the following paperwork for bank/financial institutions in order to enable your mortgage to be obtained and drawn down:

• Bill costings.
• Stage payment certificates.
• Final certificate of compliance.

Air Tightness Testing

An air tightness test (also commonly referred to as an air leakage test or air permeability test) is a test to determine the level of uncontrolled air flow through gaps in the fabric of a building.Too much air leakage leads to unnecessary heat loss and can lead to discomfort to the occupants through cold draughts.

An air tightness test is used to calculate an air permeability rating for the dwelling. It is this rating that must meet the latest Building Regulation standards for conservation of fuel and power.

We are fully trained and qualified Air Tightness Testing Consultants and can issue certificate in relation to same on completion of any development. This Air Tightness Testing Certificate will then be used in the calculations of the final BER rating.

Snag Lists

We offer an extensive snag list service whereby any potential purchaser of a property can employ our services to survey the property they have in mind. This service includes the preparation of a detailed snag list listing out the various items which need to be attended to before we recommend that that purchase of the property is completed.

Once this snag list is complete we issue the vendor and purchaser with a copy of the snag list and whereby on completion of the snag list we then revisit the property to ensure that all the snags are carried out to our satisfaction. If this proves to be the case we then recommend that the purchaser completes the purchase of the property.

We are also available at anytime to meet with the vendor or the vendor's building contractor to go through the snag list if they require any clarity with any of the items on the list.

Building Energy Rating Certificate (BER)

On the completion of the proposed development and also on the completion of the relevant air tightness testing we at Cunningham Design & Planning will then issue the final Building Energy Rating (BER) certificate which will prove that the development has been designed, supervised and certified to the highest possible standard and therefore achieving the highest possible building energy rating.


Safety & Environmental Services

We at Cunningham Design & Planning offer a full range of safety and environmental Services to all of our clients, making it easier for you to comply with all statutory provisions, by using the services of just one company. Our combined services now include, planning, health and safety and Environmental Consultation.
Our expertise can fulfil the role of PSDP (Project Supervisor for the Design Process) in compliance with the Construction Regulations 2006 which includes:

• Design Process Risk Assessment.
• Preparation of the Design Process Health and Safety Plan.
• The Safety File.
• Site Safety Inspections.
• Implement a Site Safety Management System in Compliance with Construction Regulations 2006.
• Liaise with, advise and assist the PSCS.
• Project Safety Supervision.

We are also fully qualified in the following:

• Temporary Works.
• Scaffolding.

Fire Safety Certificate (FSC)

Our Fire Safety Engineers can meet the needs of fire consultation issues on any project. Our reputation is built on a fast, reliable quality design and consultation service with practical solutions to satisfy all clients. We will assess clients needs and find the most cost effective and practical way to achieve a safe effective design.

Our Fire Safety Services:

• Fire safety applications.
• Fire safety surveys and audits for existing premises.
• Licensing applications and event management.
• Fire safety reviews for project designers.
• Fire management planning.
• Fire evacuation strategies.

Public Housing Licensing Applications

We have extensive knowledge and experience in relation to the preparation of public house licence applications for both new public houses and also for upgrading existing licences. As part of our service in relation to the preparation of licensing applications involves the following:

• Preparation of detailed licensing drawings showing the extent of the proposed licensed area outlined in red.
• Consultation with the Fire Department of the relevant Local Authority in which the premises is located.
• Consultancy with the local Gardai in relation to the licensed premises and agreeing any alterations that may be require.
• Issuing the Court with 6 No. copies of the relevant licensing drawings and giving evidence to the court on the day of the licensing application.

Disability Access Certificates (DAC)

A Disability Access Certificate is required prior to the commencement of any commercial development to also include residential units in the form of apartment blocks.

We can prepare and lodge the Disability Access Certificate to the respective local authority and liaise with same and once granted we will issue the building owner/developer with a complete set of construction drawings designed in accordance the Disability Access Certificate so as to ensure compliance with Part M of the Building Control Regulations.

Waste Permit Application for Land Fill Site

We have vast experience in dealing with the environmental section of the various Local Authorities in relation to obtaining planning permission and waste permit licences for a land fill site.

As part of this service we will meet the client on-site to discuss the overall area of the site to be filled together with the depth to fill and type of fill that is proposed to be tipped into the land fill site. We then will liaise with environmental section and Planning Department for each Local Authority to ascertain whether or not planning permission will be granted for this type of development.

In the event that the pre-planning permission discussions are positive, we then prepare the planning permission and waste permit applications on the bases of advice obtained during the per-planning permission discussions.

Project Gallery