HVAC systems are the major energy consumers in buildings. Operation and control of HVAC systems
have significant impacts on the energy or cost efficiency of buildings besides their designs.
Buildings nowadays are mostly equipped with comprehensive building automation systems (BASs)
and building energy management control systems (EMCSs) that allow the possibility of enhancing
and optimizing the operation and control of HVAC systems. Supervisory and optimal control,
which addresses the energy or cost-efficient control of HVAC systems while providing the desired
indoor comfort and healthy environment under the dynamic working conditions, is attracting more
attention of the building professionals and the society and provides incentives to make more efforts
in developing more extensive and robust control methods for HVAC systems. This paper provides
a framework for categorizing the main supervisory and optimal control methods and optimization
techniques developed and/or utilized in the HVAC field. The application characteristics of each
control method and optimization technique are also identified and compared. A comprehensive
overall review of the state of the art of the research and development, as well as application of
supervisory and optimal control, in HVAC systems is also presented.