К АПИ это относится примерно никак. Вся информация есть в спецификации CSS.
Specifies a percentage height. The percentage is calculated with respect to the height of the generated box's containing block. If the height of the containing block is not specified explicitly (i.e., it depends on content height), and this element is not absolutely positioned, the value computes to 'auto'. A percentage height on the root element is relative to the initial containing block. Note: For absolutely positioned elements whose containing block is based on a block-level element, the percentage is calculated with respect to the height of the padding box of that element. This is a change from CSS1, where the percentage was always calculated with respect to the content box of the parent element.