Retirement village - Watford

A new commercially viable specification for Audley Mayfield IRCs

Account manager - Andy Barker

System installed - Converged network infrastructure featuring full fibre-to-the-apartment, wifi, telephony, emergency call, door monitoring, panic alarm, fire alarm, fibre IRS system (TV, Sky Q and radio), UPS systems, induction loops, access control, CCTV, full video door entry, voice evacuation system for disabled refuges.

Details - TIS designed a new technical specification to help make Mayfield IRCs commercially viable


Founded in 2016 by Audley Group, Mayfield Villages is Audley’s answer to the growing unmet need for mid-range retirement housing. Its sister company, Audley Villages, has been successfully building and managing luxury integrated retirement communities (IRC’s) since 2007 and developing quality retirement properties and care services for older people since 1983.
Over time, Audley Group has evolved past the traditional ‘care home’ concept to be more forward thinking and relevant to our times, a shift that TIS has helped facilitate with our technology-driven approach to modern, later living.

The challenge

Mayfield’s parent company, Audley Group, is a luxury IRC operator so its usual design specification was too costly for the budget range intended for the new Mayfield developments. This was borne out during the tender process when costs returned for the original specification made the Mayfield brand commercially not viable.

Having worked in the IRC sector for decades, partnering with some of the UK’s best known IRC operators, what we’ve learned has been invaluable: resident needs, operator needs, common mistakes, what works, what doesn’t. TIS was therefore brought in for our specialist IRC sector technical knowledge, providing the strategy, technical design and consulting support that Audley Group needed to help design an entirely new, ‘mid-range’ specification.

Having already faced significant challenges with the original tender specification, Audley Group needed to create a clear, unambiguous, contractual design specification that could first enable the development to be built on-budget. Secondly it needed to deliver Mayfield’s operational and commercial requirements in the future, helping to transform resident experiences, streamline service delivery and reduce total cost of ownership.

Additionally, as part of our consulting process, we collaborated with Audley to adapt its ever evolving standards document - a set of rules all Audley contractors have to adhere to ensure IRC’s across all Audley sites are built to a standard specification. This document details how equipment should be connected, what quality assurances need to be conducted throughout the project build, what equipment is used and who is responsible for which part of the system. This document was subject to change at various stages of the project, meaning that our team had to remain flexible and accommodating to any new requirements or demands made by the customer at any point of production.

Off the back of the newly created specification and standards documents, we were tasked with installing a converged network infrastructure that would provide the highest level of resident security combined with flexibility to adapt to future technologies, as well as give Audley a design framework for future Mayfield developments.

How we did it

We began by rewriting the original project specification to propose a new design based on our previous experience working on mid-priced developments, ensuring the technology brief was able to fit the allocated budget level. The average cost of production was then determined and greenlit as financially viable.

Our specialist IRC design and consultancy team then began working closely with Audley and its consultants, detailing all specifications and technical submissions, deciding what to remove and what to keep. By the end of this phase, we had a concrete framework for Mayfield from a design perspective, informed by the aforementioned requirements, specifications and evolving standards document (which the TIS design team helped refine throughout the project’s lifecycle).

Having developed the stage four design ready for installation, Audley Group determined TIS was best placed to also install the systems specified in the technical design. Four months after quantifying the design work, we were awarded the project worth £1.8 million.

A live working environment, the Mayfield build was divided into two phases across two blocks - A and B. Block A was completed first and was up and running, ready for residents to move in before commencing work on Block B. The subsequent work in the second phase to integrate the Block B systems with Block A was completed without interrupting the services in Block A.

Throughout the project’s life cycle our highly skilled engineers adapted incredibly well to all the changes made to the original specification, such as the switch from communal wifi to site-wide, private and communal wifi.


After global supply chain issues rendered raw materials difficult to get hold of, Audley’s original ‘emergency call’ communication unit was made obsolete by its manufacturer. Needing an alternative option quickly, Audley turned to TIS, giving us an opportunity to introduce Sentinel SmartLINK, our multi-function home hub designed specifically for retirement community residents. Sentinel delivers new levels of communication, connectivity and care, whilst streamlining service delivery for Mayfield its teams, adding emergency alarm, monitoring, door entry and concierge features, amongst others.

Given that Sentinel is such a flexible and highly bespoke system, we had in depth discussions with Audley’s operations team to discuss the features they’d want to take advantage of, ultimately designing a system that’s unique to their needs. This system has since been greenlit and will be used in all of Audley’s and Mayfield’s new builds.

Because the design specification evolved throughout the project's lifecycle, our team of highly skilled designers, consultants and on-site engineers had to remain open to testing out new ideas and approaches. For example, designing an Emergency Evacuation system that allows Fire and Rescue Service to evacuate areas of the building at the flick of a switch - a request made midway through production which required a brand new design specification. While ultimately this system wasn’t adopted, it allowed our team the opportunity to educate the Audley team about a system that will grow in popularity in the years to come.

What we delivered

The impact and value of this project went far beyond the design and installation of integrated life safety, security and communications systems, offering Audley Group a clear, commercially-viable blueprint for all future developments in the Mayfield portfolio.

Our technical consulting model helps to address immediate day-to-day challenges at the same time as adopting a managed roadmap approach to achieving operational excellence through technology. In a complex industry with multiple service providers, technologies and regulations, it's easy to get bogged down by the 'technical' details. Our team facilitated a customer-led approach, helping to approach things more strategically, resulting in a clear, unambiguous technical specification that could be shared with and actioned by the overall project’s consulting engineer.

Our specialist technical knowledge enabled Audley Group to take better-informed, strategic decisions that unlocked value from its technology, helping to transform resident experiences, streamline care delivery and reduce total cost of ownership.

Our design philosophy and in-depth understanding of the IRC market, technologies and regulatory compliance requirements enabled us to support Audley Group in creating a new standards document that has been adopted across the organisation.

From a technology perspective we installed a converged network infrastructure featuring full fibre to the apartment, wi-fi, telephony, emergency call, door monitoring, panic alarm, fire alarm, fibre IRS system (TV, Sky Q and radio), UPS systems, induction loops, access control, CCTV, full video door entry, voice evacuation system for disabled refuges.

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