There is a myth that Parallel Parlors fit into smaller buildings. 

Standard parlor plans available from both builders and dealers show that:

A Dbl. 12 Parallel needs a building that's 30 ft. long x 40 ft. wide (1,200 square feet), and a Dbl. 12 HerringBone needs 55 ft. long x 40 ft. wide (2,200 square feet). Except that a Double 12 HerringBone only needs 30 ft. - not 40ft - of width (1,650 square feet). Builders and dealers just don't like to change their 'Standard Plans'. 

At $35 per sq. ft. that's $21,000 additional cost for space you don't need.

Cows average 2 ft. wide x 7 ft. long or 14 square feet.  They don’t take less space in a Parallel.

So - Parallels are shorter and wider and HerringBones are longer and narrower.

HerringBones have a 5 foot emergency exit in front - a convenience and safety feature NOT available with Parallels.  If the rapid exit of a Parallel fails it'll make for a slow day in the parlor. Better get it fixed like pronto.....

(2) HB emergency exits (left & right) = 150 square feet.  Subtract that from the 1,650 square feet above = 1,500 square feet.

Net difference between the HerringBone and the Parallel - 300 square feet. The extra cost of which is partly offset by the higher cost of wider rafters for the Parallel. Wider rafters obviously cost more than narrower ones.

Your new dbl. 12 milking parlor complex will take up from 5,000 square feet to 10,000 square feet overall depending on many factors.  We’ll take 7,500 square feet as an average.  300 square feet represents about 4% of the total.

Buying a Parallel in order to save that 4% makes no sense at all,  considering the impact on the quality of milking and the quality of life in the parlor for the next 30 or 40 years.

And that, my friend, is what the fuss is all about: Parallel advocates will never talk about the superior quality of milking in a herringbone. But they do talk about 'less space'. What's their priorities?
Parallel Parlors - A Smaller Space?
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