In the last few years, the application of Model Predictive Control (MPC) for energy management in buildings has received significant attention from the research community. MPC is becoming more and more viable because of the increase in computational power of building automation systems and the availability of a significant amount of monitored building data. MPC has found successful implementation in building thermal regulation, fully exploiting the potential of building thermal mass. Moreover, MPC has been positively applied to active energy storage systems, as well as to the optimal management of on-site renewable energy sources. MPC also opens up several opportunities for enhancing energy efficiency in the operation of Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems because of its ability to consider constraints, prediction of disturbances and multiple conflicting objectives, such as indoor thermal comfort and building energy demand. Despite the application of MPC algorithms in building control has been thoroughly investigated in various works, a unified framework that fully describes and formulates the implementation is still lacking. Firstly, this work introduces a common dictionary and taxonomy that gives a common ground to all the engineering disciplines involved in building design and control. Secondly the main scope of this paper is to define the MPC formulation framework and critically discuss the outcomes of different existing MPC algorithms for building and HVAC system management. The potential benefits of the application of MPC in improving energy efficiency in buildings were highlighted.